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''thkee midshipmen" etc. etc 





The title of the following tale was given to a short story 
writtenbythewell-knoAvn authoress, Agnes Strickland, more 
than half a century ago, when she was about eighteen 
years old, I well remember the intense delight with which 

I read it in my boyhood, c^nd was lately surprised to find 
that it had been so long out of print. Tlie publishers, 
however, consider that the work, esteemed as it was in 
former years, is, from the style and the very natural mis- 
takes of a young lady discernible with regard to matters 
nautical, scarcely suited to the taste of the present day. 
They therefore requested me to re-\mte it, believing that 
the subject might be worked into a deeply interesting 
story of much larger proportions than the original. This 
I have endeavoured to accomplish, and I trust that the 
new version of "The Rival Crusoes" may become as 


popular among the present generation as its predecessor 
was with the last 

VV. H. G. Kingston. 

''you scoundrel!" exclaimed the young lord. 

Frontispiece. See page 263, 



At Keyhaven — In dangerous company — The old smuggler — A fri- 
gate after battle — Dislike of Ben for the Royal Navy — An unex- 
pected landing — Overbearing conduct of the midshipmen — Angry 
v^ords — Lord Reginald Oswald — Toady Voules — At the village 
inn — Old messmates — Temptation — Susan Rudall's anxious life 
— An adventtire on the way to Elverston — Home at last- 
Reception at the hall. 


TELL you what, Dick, if I was Farmer Har- 
grave I would not turn out to please Lord 


Elverston or any other lord in the land," 
exclaimed Ben Rudall, as he stood hammering away at 
the side of his boat, which lay drawn up on the inner 
end of Hurst beach, near the little harbour of Keyhaven, 
on the Hampshire coast, at the western entrance of the 
Solent, opposite the Isle of Wight. His dress and 
weather-beaten countenance, as well as the work he was 
engaged on, showed that he was a seafaring maru 


5 TAe Rival Crusoes, 

" But Mr. Gooch the bailiff says there is a flaw, as he 
calls it, in the lease; but what that means I don't know, 
except that it's not all right, and that father must turn out, 
whether he likes it or not," answered Dick Hargrave, who 
was standing near, and occasionally giving Ben a helping 
hand. He was a lad about sixteen years of age, strongly 
built, with a good-looking face, exhibiting a firm and 
determined expression. His dress was more that of a 
landsman than of a sailor, though it partook of both. 

Flaw or no flaw, I say again, I would hold on fast 
to the farm, unless I was turned out by force. Your 
father, Dick, is worth ten of such lords, or a hundred, for 
that matter. He has held that farm since his father's 
time. His father and grandfather and great-grandfather, 
and I don't know how many before them, have held it. 
And right honest people they were. They never thought 
of interfering with us seafaring men, and would as soon 
turn spies to the French as give notice to the revenue 
when a cargo was to be run. If they guessed that any 
kegs of spirits, or packages of silks or ribbons, were 
stowed away in one of their bams, they took good care 
not to be prying about too closely until they knew that 
the goods had been started off for London." 

"My father always wished to live at peace with his 
neighbours, and would not injure a smuggler more than 
any other man who did not interfere with him, though I 
believe he has never received a keg of brandy or a piece 
of silk for any sen'ice he may have done the smugglers," 
said Dick. 

" You're right there, my lad," said Ben. " I mind once 
offering your good mother a few yards of stuff to make 

Early Disputes between the Rivals. 3 

her a Sunday gown, and, would you believe it? she would 
not take them. When I just hinted that I should leave 
them behind me, she was quite offended, and declared that 
if I did she would speak to your father and have the 
outhouses kept closed, and that it would be our own fault 
if some day all our goods were seized. She shut me up, 
I can tell you. Yes, she is a good woman, and as kind 
and charitable to the poor as any lady in the land. To 
my fancy she is a lady just as much as Lord Elverston's 
wife. I mind when he was only Squire Oswald. Because 
he kept hounds and was in Parliament, and came into a 
heap of money, he got made a lord, and then a marquis, 
and now he is setting his face against all us seafaring 
men hereabouts, and vows that he must uphold the re- 
venue laws, and put a stop to smuggling." 

" I have no cause to care for the Marquis of Elverston 
or his sons either, for often when I have passed them 
and touched my hat, as in decent manners I was bound 
to do, they have looked at me as if I was a beggar-boy 
asking for a ha'penny. The young one especially- 
Lord Reginald — I had words with him one day, when 
he swore at me for not picking up his whip which he 
had let drop out riding; and at another time, when I 
was fishing in the lake at Elverston, he ordered me to be 
off, because I was catching more than he was — though 
father has always had the right of fishing there. He 
came up, with his fists doubled; but I threatened to 
knock him into the water if he laid hands on me, and he 
thought better of it. I was right glad when he went 

off to sea, where I hope he will have learned better 

4 The Rival Crusoes. 

" He will have learned to become a greater bully than 
ever," growled Ben, " I have heard enough about king's 
ships, and catch me setting foot on board one. I'd 
sooner be sent to Botany Bay, or spend a year in prison, 
which I did once, when I was taken running a cargo 
down Portland way with a dozen other fine fellows. 
Many of them accepted the offer to go on board a 
man-of-war; and where are they now? Three or four 
shot or drowned ; the rest have never come back, though 
whether dead or alive I cannot tell. No, no, Dick; 
don't you ever go on board a man-of-war of your own 
free will, or you'll repent it; and, I say, keep clear of 
pressgangs when you get a little older, or you may be 
having to go, whether you like it or no." 

"I'll take your advice,'' answered the young farmer, 
for such Dick might properly have been called, though 
he had besides, being an ingenious fellow, picked up a 
good knowledge of carpentering and boat-building; "but 
what I was going to say just now was that, although the 
marquis and his sons may not be liked, no one can utter 
a word against my lady and her daughters. They always 
smile and nod kindly like when one passes. When my 
sister Janet was ill last year, they came to the farm, and 
asked after her just as if she had been one of themselves, 
talking so sweet and gentle. If it wasn't for them, I 
don't think father would dream of giving in, as he does 


"Give in? He mustn't do that!" exclaimed Ben. 
" Their talking and smiling may be all very fine, but I 
know what that's worth." 

" You are wrong there, Ben ; I couldn't speak a v.'ord 

A Frigate appears through the Needles. 5 

against them. But, I say, do you think we can finish the 
boat in time to get off and catch some fish this evening ? 
I want to take home a couple of bass or whiting pout for 
Janet. She Hkes them better than anything else. Poor 
girl! it's only fish and such light things she can eat. 
She's very ill, I fear, though she talks as if she was going 
to be about soon ; but the doctor tells mother he has 
no hope of her ever being well again." 

" That will be a sore pity, for, blind though she is, 
there's not a prettier maiden to be found throughout the 
forest," answered Ben. " I'll do my best to serve you, 
Dick ; but there's two hours' more work to be done 
before we can get the craft afloat." Ben surveyed the 
boat from stem to stern as he spoke, and then continued 
boring holes and driving nails as diligently as before. 

While he was thus employed, Dick, who was looking 
towards the Isle of Wight, exclaimed, " See, Ben, see, 
what a fine ship yonder is, just come in at the Needles !" 

The fisherman, clenching the nail he had just driven 
in, turned his eyes in the direction to which Dick 
pointed. " She's only a frigate, though a good big one," 
he remarked. " She's not long since been in action, too, 
with the enemy. Look at her topsails and top-gallant 
sails; they are pretty well riddled. I can count well- 
nigh a score of shot-holes in them ; and her side, too, 
shows the hard knocks she has been getting. Just run 
to the top of the beach, and see if any other ships are 
following. Maybe the fleet has had a brush with the 
enemy, and yonder firigate has been sent on ahead with 
news of the action." 

Dick, doing as he was bid, soon reached a point of 

6 The Rival Crusoes, 

the shingly bank whence he could obtain a view of the 
sea to the westward. " Hurrah ! " he shouted ; " here 
comes another ship under a fore-jurymast and her bowsprit 
gone- She seems to me to have not a few shot-holes in 
her canvas, though it's hard to make out at the distance 
she is off." 

Ben, in his eagerness, forgetting his work, ran up to 
where Dick was standing. *' Yes, there^s no doubt about 
it, yonder craft is a prize to the first When she gets 
nearer we shall see that her sails are well riddled and 
her hull battered, too. Those Frenchmen don't give in 
till they've been thoroughly drubbed; but I doubt 
whether we shall know more about the matter to-night 
than we do now, for the wind is falling, and the tide 
making out strong against her. See, the frigate can only 
just stem it, and unless the breeze freshens, she must 
bring up or drift out through the Needles again." 

Such, indeed, was likely to be the case, for though 
still going ahead, her progress was very slow. She had 
already got some little distance to the eastward of Hurst 
Point, when, the wind freshening again, her sails blew 
out, and, gliding majestically on, she edged over to the 
Isle of Wight shore. 

" She'll not get to Spithead to-night, notwithstanding," 
remarked Ben, " for there's not a breath of air away 
to the eastward ; see, the sails of that brig out there are 
hanging flat against the masts." 

Ben was right. The wind again dropping, presently 
the hands were seen flying aloft, the studding-sails were 
quickly taken in, the courses brailed upj the topsail 
yards being rapidly lowered, the ready crew sprang ou 

Bens Dislike to the Navy, 7 

to them, and in another minute the frigate dropped her 
anchor in Yarmouth Roads. 

" All very fine !" growled Ben, as he saw Dick's look of 
admiration at the smartness with which the manoeuvre 
had been effected] "but if you'd been on board you would 


have seen how it was all done. There's the first lieu- 
tenant, with his black list in his hand, and the other 
lieutenants with their reports, ready to note down any- 
thing they may think amiss ; then there are the midship- 
men, the boatswain and his mates, cursing and swearing, 
with their switches and ropes' ends in their hands, and 
the cat-o'-nine- tails hung up ready for any who don't 
move fast enough. Again, I say, don't you ever enter on 
board a man-of-war if you wish to keep a whole skin in 

your body." 

The old smuggler's picture, though exaggerated, ap- 
proached too nearly the truth as to the way in which 
discipline w^as enforced on board many men-of-war in 
those days. Happily, some were as hto. from the reproach 
as are those of the present time, when the seamen of the 
navy have good reason to be contented with their lot, as 
everything is done which can conduce to their comfort 
and improvement. 

Ben's remarks did not fail to have their effect on Dick's 


'^ Don't think I'm a fool I" he answered. " I'll keep out 
of their clutches, depend upon that, for, as I am not a 
seaman, a pressgang can't catch hold of me." 

" Well, do you be wise, my boy, and don't forget what 
I say," remarked Ben. " But if we stand talking here we 
shan't get the boat finished, so come along, and don't let 

8 The Rival Crusoes, 

us trouble ourselves about the frigate. We shall hear by- 
and-by what she has been doing, and how the captain 
and officers are praised for the victory the seamen have 
won for them." 

Saying this, Ben led the way back to his boat, and went 
on with his work, though Dick Hargrave could not help 
every now and then casting a look at the beautiful ship 
as she lay at anchor a little distance oft. Ben was labour- 
ing away as assiduously as before, when Dick exclaimed 

" Here comes a boat from the frigate. I thought I saw 
one lowered.; she is steering for this point, and it will not 
be long before she is here." 

" Then they intend to put some one on shore at Key- 
haven,*' observed Ben ; " but as the boat can*t get up the 
creek with this low tide, whoever he may be hell have to 
trudge along the beach." 

" There seem to be several officers in her," remarked 
Dick, who stood watching the boat as she came rapidly 
on the blades of the oars, as with nieasured strokes they 
were dipped in the water, flashing in the sunlight 

" They fancy that they can get up to Keyhaven, but 

they'll not do that until the tide rises," observed Ben, 
looking up from his work with a frown on his brow. 
" Let them try it, and they'll stick fast." 

The boat passed the spot where Ben and his companion 
were at work, and very soon what he had predicted 
happened. Two of the officers, whom Dick recognized 
by their uniforms to be midshipmen, were heard abusing 
the men and ordering them to urge the boat on. But all 
the efforts of the crew to get her afloat were vain. 

They then endeavoured to back her off, and at length 

Two Midshipmen la?zd, 9 

four of them, tucking up their trowsers, leaped overboard 
The boat thus lightened, the men, by shoving her astern, 
soon got her again into deep water. When, however, they 
sprang on board their blackened legs showed the nature of 
the mud into which they had stepped, and produced a 
malicious chuckle from Ben, who watched them with half- 
averted head. By moving their legs about in the water 
they soon got rid of the black stains, when, having 
resumed their places, they pulled the boat in close to 
where Ben and Dick were standing. As she reached the " 
beach the two midshipmen leaped on shore. 

"I say, you fellows,'' shouted one of them, "come 
along here and carry our portmanteaus to the inn, if there 
is one in that village there, and tell us if we can find a 
post-chaise or conveyance of some sort to take us to 

Elverston Hall." 

" Don't you answer," said Ben to Dick, hammering on 
and pretending not to notice what was said. 

" Ahoy, there I don't you hear us ? Knock off that 
work ! " cried the younger of the two midshipmen, and he 
repeated what he had just said. 

"Yes, we hear," growled Ben looking up; "but we are 
not slaves to come and go at your beck, youngster." 

" We don't want you to carry our traps for nothing, 
my man," said the elder midshipman. "We'll give a 
shilling to each of you for the job, and that's handsome 


"To those who want it, it may be," said Ben; "but 
that youngster there must learn to keep a civil tongue in 
his head if he expects any one to help him. Hurst beach 
ain't the deck of a man-of-war, and one chap here is as 

lo The Rival Crusoes. 

good as another, so you may just let your own people 

carry up your traps." 

The crew of the boat sat grinning as they heard the 
smuggler bandying words with their officers, siding pro- 
bably with the former. 

" Do you know to whom you are speaking, my man ? " 
exclaimed the elder midshipman. " This is Lord Reginald 
Oswald, and his father is the Marquis of Elverston. His 
lordship will be exceedingly angry when he hears the 
way you have treated his son/* 

Ben, turning away his head, muttered loud enough for 
his companion to hear him, " He might be the marquis 
himself for what I care ; but I'm not his lordship's slave 
to come and go at his beck any more than I am yours." 

Dick looked hard at the young lord, and the recollec- 
tion of their former intercourse w^ould have made him 
unwilling to do as he was asked, even had the request 
been couched in less dictatorial language. 

"Come, come, we will pay you a couple of shillings 
each, if you are extortionate enough to refuse our first 
offer ; but carry up our traps you must, for the boat has 
to return immediately to the frigate, and we cannot delay 

" Extortionate or not extortionate, we are not slaves, 
as some poor fellows are," said Ben, glancing at the 
boat's crew; " if we don't do what you want for love, we 
are not going to do it for money, so you may just carry 
your portmanteaus yourselves." 

" Impertinent scoundrels !" exclaimed Lord Reginald 
to his companion. " Just see, Voules, if that young fellow 

is more amenable to reason than that sulky old boatman." 

Dick excites Lord Reginald's Anger, ii 

" I'll try him," answered Voules. " Come here, you 
young chap. If you will carry Lord Reginald's port- 
manteau I will shoulder mine ; we must not delay the 
boat any longer." 

" Don't seem as if you heard him," said Ben to Dick 
in a low voice, then looking round he shouted, " May- 
be the ' young chap ' is deaf, and if he wasn't, he's not a 
mule or donkey to carry a load on his back. Let Lord 
Reginald carry his own portmanteau, and just do you 
understand that I'm not the man to stand any nonsense 
from him or from any other lord in the land." 

"There is no use in bandying words with these 
scoundrels I" exclaimed Voules. *'I'll carry your port- 
manteau, Oswald, and let my own take its chance. I 
don't suppose these fellows will dare to steal it, until we 

can send somebody to bring it on." 

"No, no," answered Lord Reginald; "we must get 
Jennings to allow two of the men to come with us, and 
he can explain to the captain the cause of the delay." 

Jennings, the master's assistant in charge of the boat, 
naturally indignant at the way his messmates were treated, 
consented to this, although he was infringing orders by %o 
doing. He accordingly directed two of the crew to take 
up the portmanteaus and accompany the midshipmen, 
who set off at once along the shingly beach. As they 
moved on, a peal of laughter, in which Een indulged 
himself, saluted their ears, which contributed not a little 
to increase Lord Reginald's anger and indignation. 

"I have a notion that I remember the countenance 
of the youngest of those two rascals !'* he exclaimed. 
"He is the son of one of our tenants, and used often, 


12 772^ Rival Crushes. 

when a mere boy, to be impudent to me. I felt in- 
clined more than once to thrash him, but he happened 
to be the stronger of the two, so I didn't try, but I'll pay 
him off one of these days. I'll tell my father how we 
were treated, and he'll show him that I" am not to be 
insulted with impunity." 

" Certainly not, Oswald. I'll bear witness to the im- 
pertinent way in which he behaved. I only wish that a 
pressgang may be sent on shore here some night; I'll 
take good care that they do not overlook either the 

young fellow or that surly old one. They are not very 
particular in the service just now as to age, and both 
may be taken." 

*'Pray don't let me hear anything more about the 
matter, or when I reach home I shall not be in a con- 
dition to receive the congratulations of my family," said 
Lord Reginald. " I wish that the tide had been in and 
we had been able to get up to the village instead of 
having to trudge over these abominable shingles." 

*' Certainly," said Voules; "but the fellows are beneath 
your notice, though the incident was sufficient to put one 
out of temper. If I had thought Jennings would have 
consented, I would have proposed landing the boat's 
crew and ducking the fellows; it would have brought 
them to reason pretty quickly." 

** You don't know the character of the men hereabout, 
or you would not say so," observed Lord Reginald. 
That fellow Hargrave is a desperate young villain, and 
they are all smugglers and poachers, who would not 
scruple to burn down the hall if they had an opportunity. 
My father is determined to put a stop to their poaching 

The Village Inn reached, 13 

and smuggling, but he has not as ytt had much success, 
I believe. The smugglers, somehow or other, manage 
to land their cargoes when the revenue officers are out of 
the way, and the poachers dodge our gamekeepers, who 
vow that although they hear their shots^ they can never 
catch them." 

" It will be good fun some night to try what we can 
do," observed Voules. " We should soon get hold of them, 
and if they are sent to prison or shipped off to Botany 
Bay, it will keep the others in awe." 

The two seamen who carried the portmanteaus were 
listening to the remarks of the young officers spoken in 
loud tones. Every now and then they turned to each 
other, exchanging winks, and smiling contemptuously, 
though they looked as grave as judges when Voules 
happened to turn round for a moment to ascertain how 
far they had got from the boat 

On and on they trudged, until at last harder ground 
was gained, and they soon reached the village inn, or 
rather beer-shop, for it aspired to no higher dignity. 
Great was their disgust to find that no conveyance of any 
sort was to be obtained nearer than Lymington, some 
three or four miles off, and it was doubtful whether the 
single post-chaise or yellow fly, which belonged to the 
place, would be disengaged. 

"But Lord Reginald Oswald cannot walk all the way 
to Elverston Hall, and we must have a carriage of some 
sort or other, my good woman," exclaimed Voules to the 


"Then I must send out and find my man, who has 

been carting coals for old Captain Knockills on the top 

14 The Rival Crusoes. 

of the hill there. Our cart ain't exactly fit for young 
gentlemen like you, but it's better than nothing, as it will 
cany your " portmantles/' and you can get in and ride 
when you are tired ; so, if you will walk in and sit down 
in the bar, I'll send the boy off at once. It won't be long 
before my man is here, as he must have finished his work 

by this time." 

" Impossible ! " exclaimed Voules. " Lord Reginald 
Oswald to be driven home in a coal-cart ! " 

The idea, however, seemed to tickle the fancy of the 
young lord, for he burst into a fit of laughter. " It will 
be better to reach the hall even in that way, than to wait 
in this wretched hole until we can obtain a carriage. 
Only, I say Voules, get them to put some clean hay or 
straw into the cart, or we and our portmanteaus will be 
covered with coal-dust." 

In the mean time the two seamen looked with wistful 
eyes at the cask of beer in the corner of the tap-room, 
but Voules, without offering them any, ordered them to 
hasten back to the boat. They grumbled as they went, 
looking back to ascertain if the midshipmen had left the 
inn, resolving to return, should they have the chance, to 
drink as many glasses of ale as they had money in their 
pockets to pay for. 

Voules, however, must have suspected their intentions, 
for he kept an eye on them as long as they were in sight. 
Just before reaching the frigate's boat, they met Ben and 
Dick, who had been on the watch for their return. Ben 
put out his hand and shook that of one of them. 

"Well, Bill Webster, I knew you as soon as you 
stepped on shore. Glad to see you with a whole skin on 

The Old Smuggler gives Bad Advice. 1 5 

your back," he exclaimed. " How do you like serving 
his Majesty afloat ? A pleasant sort of a life, isn't it ? " 

Bill shrugged his shoulders as he answered, "Well, it's 
better than rotting in prison, though Fd rather be at the 
old work again." 

" Then why not give them leg-bail at once ; youVe a 
chance you'll not find again in a hurry, and we can stow 
you safe away, where they'll have a hard job to find you." 

"No, no, mate," said Bill's companion, Jack Coyne. 
" I know what running away means. It's being caught, 
with a sharp taste of the cat on one's back at the end 
of it." 

" Then, mates, you'd rather be slaves than free men ? " 
said the old smuggler. 

Jack Coyne, however, was firm ; and notwithstanding 
the arguments Ben used, he finally persuaded his ship- 
mate to return to the boat which, immediately they 
stepped into her, shoved off and pulled for the frigate. 

" Each man to his taste, and some day they'll be sorry 
they didn't take my advice," muttered Ben. "Now, 
Dick, let's you and I get the boat into the water, and try 
to catch some fish for your sister Janet." 

As the boat was placed on a steep beach, she was easily 
launched, and Ben and Dick, each taking an oar, pulled 
awav some distance from the shore, when they let down 
a big stone which served as an anchor. They had not to 
wait long before Ben hauled up a fish, and Dick soon after- 
wards got a bite. In a short time they had caught several 
bass, a whiting pout, and two grey mullet, with which, 
well satisfied, as the shades of evening were already 
creeping over the water, they pulled for the shore. As 

i6 The Rival Crusoes. 

the tide had now turned, they were able to get up the 
creek to the spot where Ben generally left his boat 

" I'm well pleased that I am to send these to your 
young sister/' said Ben, handing over the mullet and two 
of the other fish to DicL "Your mother won't mind 
receiving them, though they haven't paid duty, seeing as 

how they are not taxed, though when they will be is more 
than I can say. Always glad to see you down here, my 
lad ; some day you'll take a trip across the water, aboard 
the Nancy. You'll like the life, I know, especially if we 
are chased by one of those revenue craft It is a pleasure, 
I can tell you, to give them the go-by, though, to be sure, 
we do sometimes have to heave our kegs and bales over- 
board, but we generally keep too bright a look-out to 

have to do that." 

" I should like it well enough, Ben ; but there are others 
at home who would object to my going away on board 
the lugger. However, I won't s^y no, so good night, Ben, 
and thank you for the fish ; " and Dick Hargrave set off at 
a brisk pace towards his home, while his evil adviser — for 
such Ben Rudall undoubtedly was — entered his cottage, 
where his wife was busy preparing supper for him and 
their children. 

An anxious woman was Susan Rudall. Sometimes 
there was an over-abundance on the board, and she had 
more money than she well knew how to spend. At others 
it was a hard matter to find a few shillings to pay the 
week's bills for bread and other necessaries, though, to be 
sure, she could generally obtain credit, as it was hoped 
that, on the return of the Nancy j Ben would again be flush 

Anxious Life of the Smuggler's Wife, tj 

of money. SometimeSj however, she, as well as the 
tradespeople, were disappointed. Then often and often, 
while south-westerly gales were blowing, she had the 
anxious thought that the Nancy was at sea and might 
perchance founder, as other similar craft had done, or be 

cast on the rocky coast, or be taken by a revenue vessel, 
when Ben and his companions, if caught with a cargo on 
board, would be thrown into prison, or sent to serve his 
Majesty on board a man-of-war for three or four years or 


Poor Susan's lot was that of many other smugglers* 
wives, who, notwithstanding the silks and laces with which 
they could bedeck themselves^ and the abundance of 
spirits and tobacco in which their husbands might indulge, 
had often a troubled time of it. Not that she, or any other 

of the wives and daughters of those engaged in the lawless 
trade, thought that there was any harm in it. Probably their 
fathers and grandfathers before them, and most of their 
male relatives, except those sent off to sea, followed the 
same calling, and when any were caught or killed, they 
looked on their fate as a misfortune which had to be 
borne, without considering that it was justly brought upon 

Meantime, the two midshipmen, after waiting till their 
patience was almost exhausted, having seen their port- 
manteaus put into Silas Fryer's cart, set off on foot for 
Elverston Hall. 

" I really regret, my dear Oswald, that you should be 
exposed to this inconvenience. For myself, I confess I do 
not care ; the pleasure of accompanying you and the 
honour of being received by your family, will make ample 

i8 The Rival Crusoes. 

amends to me for a far greater annoyance. As a miser- 
able younger son, with little more than my pay to depend 
upon, I have often had to tramp it But you, I fear, will 
be greatly fatigued." 

" Not a bit of it/* answered Reginald. '* I can walk as 
well as any man, and could get over the distance if it 
were twice as great. I was only vexed at the impertinence 
of those fellows. " 

" Of course, of course," said Voules» soothingly ; " but 
leave them to me, and if I have an opportunity while re- 
maining here, I'll endeavour to pay them off." 

Mr. Alfred Voules, though an especial friend of Lord 
Reginald Oswald, was not a favourite on board his ship, 
where he was known by the name oi " Toady Voules," an 
appellation he richly merited by the mode in which he 
paid court to any shipmates possessed of titles or amply 
stored purses. He had lately won his way into the good 
graces of Lord Reginald, who had obtained leave to take 
him on a visit to Elverston Hall, while the frigate was re- 
fitting at Portsmouth. When she brought up in Yarmouth 
Roads, Lord Reginald explained that his home was a 
short distance off on the opposite coast, and that it would 
save him and his friend a long journey if they were to 
land at Keyhaven, as they could easily reach it from 
thence. Much to their satisfaction, their captain allowed 
them — certainly an unusual favour — to be put on shore as 
they desired. Voules himself stood well in the opinion 
of the captain and lieutenants, as, although he might not 
have exhibited any especial gallantry, he always appeared 
attentive to his duty. 

As the two midshipmen stepped out briskly, they soon 

TIte Midshipmeit fall in with Smugglers, 19 

distanced the cart, though darkness overtook them when 

they were still three or four miles from the hall. Lord 
Reginald, however, knew the road, and there was light 
enough from the stars to enable them to see it without 
difficulty. Elverston was situated some distance from the 
coast, within the borders of the New Forest. They were 
laughing and talking merrily together as they made their 
way along an uncultivated tract, covered with heather 
and occasional clumps of trees, here and there paths 
crossing the main road, when Voules exclaimed — 

**What are those objects moving beyond the trees 
there ? They seem to me to be like men on horseback ; 

and, surely, that is the sound of cart wheels." 

As they stopped talking, a low murmur, as of human 
voices in subdued tones, reached their ears, and con- 
tinuing on, they made out distinctly a train of carts, 
accompanied by horsemen riding in front and rear. 

"What they are is pretty clear," said Lord Reginald. 
"Those are smugglers. I have heard they muster at 
times in great force to convey their contraband goods up 
to London." 

" I wish that we had some of the frigate^s crew with 
us," said Voules- "we'd soon put a stop to their 

" Will you, young masters ? " said a voice. " You'll just 
come along with us, and spend the night in different 
company to what you expect ! " 

Before the midshipmen could turn round, they found 
their arms seized by half a dozen stout fellows, who had 
apparently been detached from the main body, and had 
come up thus suddenly upon them. 

20 The Rival Crusoes. 

" Unhand us ! " exclaimed Lord Reginald, indignantly. 
'* What right have you to stop us in this way?" 

" The right of might, young master," answered the man 

who had before spoken. " Tell us what brings you here 
at this time of night ! " 

Voules, seeing that it would be to their advantage to 
speak the truth, answered, '' Aly good friends, we have 
only just landed from our ship, and being unable to 
obtain a carriage, are walking on to Elverston Hall. We 
have not the slightest wish to interfere with you or any 
one else we may meet on the road ; and it would be a 
serious inconvenience to us to be detained." 

"You speak fairly, my young master," said the man; 
" and if you and this youngster here will give us your word 
of honour that you will not mention having met us, we 
will let you go on in a few minutes ; but do not interfere 
in a matter which does not concern you." 

" Oh! certainly, my friend, certainly," answered Voules. 
"We will hold our tongues, depend upon that, and we 
shall be much obliged to you if you will let us go at once, 
for we are desperately hungry, and want our suppers." 

"That may be," said the smuggler, laughing; "but 
you have not given us your word yet that you will hold 
your tongue, and we want to know what this other lad 
has to say for himself." 

" Oh, I'll give you my word to say nothing about you, 
if on that condition you will let us proceed on our way," 
said Lord Reginald ; " although I cannot make out what 
reason you have for asking us." 

" Our reasons do not concern you, so give us your 
answer without further delay." 

The Midshipmen liberated. 21 

"I promise, then, on the word of an officer and a 
gentleman, not to mention having met you," said Voules. 

Lord Reginald repeated the same words. 

" Well, then, you may go about your business," said 
the smuggler; "only don't in future talk of putting a 
stop to smuggling ; it's what neither you nor your elders 
can do. Now, good night, lads. Remember, if you 
break your words it will be the worse for you. " 

Saying this, the smuggler and his men rejoined their 
companions, who had already crossed the road, and the 
two midshipmen, glad to escape so easily, proceeded on 
their way. 

" I thought we were in for it ! " observed Voules ; " it 
would have been very unpleasant if they had carried us 
off, or knocked us on the head 1 " 

"Yes, indeed," answered Lord Reginald; "they are 
bold fellows to travel through the country so openly, 
even at night ; but, as my father says, * Bold as they may 
be, they must be put down/ " 

"Well, we must try to forget the circumstance at 
present, or we shall be letting something slip out," re- 
marked Voules, "Are we approaching the hall yet?" 

" We cannot be far off, though I should be better able 
to answer the question in daylight. I am only certain 
that we are on the right road, and have not reached the 
lodge gates ; we shall see a light shining in the window 
when we get near." 

Nearly another half-hour passed before the light Lord 
Reginald spoke of appeared. The park-keeper and his 
wife, who had their minds filled with the dread of an 
invasion from the French, or an attack from the smugglers, 

22 The Rival Crusoes. 

were at first very unwilling to open the gates. Not until 
Lord Reginald had explained who he was, and had men- 
tioned several circumstances to prove that he spoke the 
truth, would they admit him and his companion. 

" Beg pardon, my lord; but we hope you won't take it 
amiss," exclaimed the gate-keeper, 

"We meant no offence, that we did'nt, my lord," 
chimed in his wife. " But you see, your lordship, that 
there are all sorts of bad characters about — smugglers and 

highwaymen and gipsies, and we couldn't tell if it was 
some of them come to murder us and burn the hall 

down, as they swear they will; or if it was the French, 

for it's said that they will land one of these nights, and 

turn out the king and Parliament." 

" Hold your tongue, wife, and don't be keeping Lord 
Reginald and the other gentleman waiting," exclaimed 
the husband. " You see, my lord, how my good woman is 
afeered, and so I hope your lordship will pardon me, as I 
mustn't leave her alone, if I don't go up with you to the 
hall, for if any strangers were to come there would be no 
one to open the gate." 

" Stop and look after your wife ; I can dispense with 
your attendance, for I know my way perfectly," answered 
Lord Reginald, laughing. "Come along, Voules, I shall be 
glad to be at home at last." 

The authoritative pull which the young nobleman gave 
to the hall bell soon brought the domestics to the door. 
The marquis and Lady Elverston, with their two fair 

daughters, and Lord John their eldest son, hurried out 
to meet Lord Reginald. His mother and sisters em- 
braced him affectionately, gazing into his well-bronzed 

Arrival at Elverston Hall, 23 

countenance, while his father and brother warmly wrung 
his hand, as they expressed their joy at his safe return. 
He then introduced his messmate Mr. Voules, who re- 
ceived a poHte welcome to Elverston Hall. 

" And now, pray tell us, Reginald, to what circumstances 
we are indebted for seeing you so unexpectedly," said the 

" The kindness of Captain Moubray; who, hearing, when 
our frigate came to an anchor in Yarmouth Roads, that 
we were within a short distance of this, allowed me and 
my messmate Voules, at my request, to come on shore 
and pay you a visit, while the Wolf is refitting at Ports- 

" What brings her back ? " asked his father. " I under- 
stood that she was not expected home for some time." 

" We have had a glorious fight with a French frigate, 
which we compelled to strike, and have brought home as 
our prize ; though, as we did not get off scot-free, it will 
take the Wo// some time to repair damages." 

" Did you lose many men ? " asked the marquis. 

" Twenty or more killed or wounded," answered Lord 
Reginald, in a careless tone. 

'* My dear boy, how thankfuT I am that you escaped ! " 
exclaimed the marchioness, gazing at him with a mother's 
love in her eyes. 

"Oh, do tell us all about it," cried Lady Lucy, his 
eldest sister. 

"All in good time," answered Reginald; " but to say 
the truth, we are very sharp set after our long walk, and 
should prefer refreshing the inner man before we exhaust 
our energies by talking, and I will refer you on the sub- 

24 The Rival Crusoes. 

ject to Voules, whose descriptive powers are far superior 
to mine. All that I can tell is that we saw a ship, 
which we soon discovered to be French, and, coming 
up with her, fired away until, in the course of a couple 
of hours, having had enough of it, she hauled down her 
colours, and that when we were sent on board to take 
possession, we found that we had knocked over some 
forty or fifty stout fellows." 

The marquis rang the bell, while the midshipmen 
retired to their rooms to prepare for supper. 

Voules gazed round the handsome chamber in which 
he found himself, with a well-satisfied look. " I have 
fallen on my feet for once in my life, at all events," he 
said to himself. *' If I play my cards well, who knows 
what may happen? It is evident that his family think 
a good deal of this young lordling, and I must take care 
to keep in his good graces. He is fond of flattery, 
though it doesn't do to lay it on too thick, but his sisters 
and mother will be well pleased to hear his praises sung, 
and as I have a fair groundwork to go upon, I may 
praise him to the skies behind his back; he is sure to 
hear what I say of him, and will be more pleased than 
if I flattered him to his face. I shall thus get into the 
good graces of the ladies, who may induce the marquis 
to use his influence at the Admiralty to obtain my 

His meditations were interrupted by the entrance of 
a valet, who came to offer his services. Voules, supposing 
from his appearance that he was one of the other guests 
who had mistaken his room, made him a polite bow, and 
said something to that effect. The valet, uncertain 

Vonles co7tgrattdates himself, 25 

whether the young gentleman was a lord or a commoner, 
thought it wise to be on the safe side, and addressing 
him as " My lord," said that he had been sent by Lord 
John to brush his clothes and shoes, and as the port- 
manteaus had not arrived, to put any of his lordship's 
wardrobe at his disposal. 

" Oh, ah ! my good fellow," said the midshipman, dis- 
covering his error; "much obliged to Lord John; but 
as there is not time to shift my rigging, I'll just trouble 
you to give me a brush down and to bring me a pair of 
slippers, and I shall be all to rights." 

The valet quickly performed the duties required of 
him, and Voules, perfectly satisfied with himself, followed 
him downstairs to the drawing-room. 


Voules makes himself at home^Eager listeners — Fight between the 
Wo/fsind a French frigate — Lord Reginald's account — Merit and 
modesty — A bumper round — Voules makes headway — Dick 

Hargrave — An encounter in the forest — Smugglers — Good 
Faithful — The farmer's home — Pick's mother — Sound advice- 
Contending influences— Bitter feelings — A 'prudent resolution. 

EVERAL guests were staying in the house, and 
a large party were soon assembled round the 
supper-table. The two midshipmen were ob- 
jects of general interest, and they had more questions 
asked than they could well answer. Voules had the 
honour of sitting near Lady Elverstoa Lord Reginald 
was at the other end of the table, where his father had 
placed him, anxious to hear from his own lips an account 
of what had occurred. Just then, however, being very 

hungry, the young lord was more interested in discussing 
the viands placed before him than in narrating the par- 
ticulars of the engagement. Voules had therefore the field 
to himself, and although quite as hungry as his brother 
midshipman, he restrained his appetite, for the sake of 
giving full play to his tongue. 

Voules describes the Action, 27 

" I can assure your ladyship that we have had as fine 
an action as any which has been fought during the war, 
and though his modesty might induce him to disclaim any 
peculiar merit, Lord Reginald played no unimportant 
part in it," began Toady Voules, bowing to the marchioness, 
and then giving a quick glance towards the other end of 
the table to ascertain whether his messmate was listening. 
Finding that he was fully engaged with the viands before 
him, he went on. " We were about thirty leagues from 
the coast of Spain, in the latitude of Cadiz, when early 
one morning, we discovered a sail to the south-west, we 


having the wind at the time from the north-east. As you 
may suppose, we immediately bore up in chase, for we 
had every hope that the stranger would prove an enemy. 
It was some time, however, before we could settle the 

point, as the wind was light and we made but little way^ 
At length, to our great joy, we were almost sure that she 
was a French frigate by the cut of her canvas and the 
appearance of her hull ; at last, when she hoisted her 
colours and fired a gun to windward, we had no doubt 
about the matter. She was hove to, with her mizzen-top- 
sail aback and the main-topsail shivering, waiting for us. 
This showed that her captain was a brave fellow, and 
would give us some trouble before we were likely to make 
him strike. 

" We were all in high spirits, and I never saw Lord 
Reginald look cooler or more at his ease than he then 
did. Our captain, to prevent the French frigate from 
escaping, made up his mind to engage her to leeward. 
Our men were at their quarters, with matches in their 

hands, ready to fire. The word, however, was passed 


28 The Rival Crusoes, 

along the decks that not a gun should be discharged 
until the captain should give the signal, though the enemy- 
had begun to blaze away, and his shot was passing 
through our sails and cutting up our rigging. The enemy, 
seeing our intention, wore and foiled the manoeuvre. As 
she sailed much better than the Wolf, our captain at 
length saw that he must adopt a different plan to that 
which he had at first intended. The Frenchman several 
times filled and wore so as on each occasion to bring a 
fresh broadside to bear on the Wolfj which annoyed us 
greatly. It was trying work to have her shot crashing on 

board without being able to return the compliment. 
Fortunately, the Frenchman firing high, few of our men 

were hurt We now steered directly down upon the 
enemy, and having got within pistol-shot of her, the satis- 
factory words reached us, ' Give it her, my lads, and 
enough of it' We did give it her, the men tossing their 
guns about like playthings, running them in, loading and 
firing two shots to the Frenchman's one. We were now 
what we wanted to be, engaging the enemy broadside to 
broadside, within pistol-shot distance, pouring into each 
other a fire of round, grape, and musketry. I am afiraid 
you would not understand the various manoeuvres we 
performed. As we carried a press of sail, we shot past 
the enemy, who, bearing up, managed to cross our stem 
and pour in a raking fire. As our captain saw what she 
was about to do, he ordered all hands to fall flat on the 
deck, and many who might have had their heads knocked 
off thus escaped. As the shot flew over us like a shower 
of hail, the only person I saw on his feet besides the cap- 
tain and first lieutenant was Lord Reginald. He told 

Attempt to board the " Wolf!' 29 

me afterwards that he could not bring himself to bend 
before a Frenchman. * Better, my dear Oswald, to do 
that than to be knocked down by a Frenchman's shot/ I 
observed. ' No, no ! ' he answered. ' I should have died 
an honourable death.' I beg to observe that I did 
not agree with my noble messmate ; but I mention the 
circumstance only to show what stuff he is made of. 

" We were quickly on our feet again, and engaged in 
firing every gun we could bring to bear. After some 
time, having crossed each other's courses, we being ahead 
of the French ship, she stood right at us, bringing her lar- 
board bow against our starboard quarter, over which her 
bowsprit ran, pressing against the mizzen rigging. The 
captain immediately ordered it to be lashed there, to 
prevent her escaping. Lord Reginald was, I can assure 
you, among the first to obey the captain*s order. Several 
men were shot in the attempt, but at last it was success- 
ful. Scarcely, however, was it done, and we had the 
Frenchman fast, than we saw the greater portion of her 
crew rushing forward, ready to spring down on our decks. 
It was as much as we could do, I can tell you, to keep 
them at bay. Our marines, stationed on the quarter-deck, 
fired away at them as fast as they could load and dis- 
charge their muskets, but not until our captain himself, 
at the head of our own boarders, armed with cutlasses, 
pikes, and pistols, rushed to our quarter, over which the 
enemy had begun to pour, was their progress stopped. 
It was desperate work ; those who had gained our deck 
were cut down, others were hove into the sea, while the 
remainder beat a rapid retreat. Their foremost guns then 
began to thunder away at us. and we could not bring one 

30 The Rival Crusoes. 

to bear in return, until a couple of pieces were dragged 
aft on the main-deck and run through the cabin windows, 
which had been cut down to serve as ports. We had now 
an advantage of which we made good use. Every shot 
we fired told with tremendous effect, but the enemy was 
still unconquered. The lashings which held the bowsprit 
of the French ship to the mizzen rigging giving way, she 
began to forge ahead. As she did so, a fortunate shot cut 
away the gammoning of her bowsprit. We were now ex- 
changing broadsides yardarm to yardarm, but the drubbing 
they had already received seemed to dishearten the French- 
men. Still they held out, showing a wonderful amount of 
pluck. They had sent men into the tops, armed with 
muskets, who were firing down on our deck, and had 
already wounded several of our officers. I was standing 
a short distance from our captain, when I saw Lord 
Reginald seize the musket of a marine who had just been 
killed, and at the same time shove the captain aside and 
fire at the maintop, when down came a man on deck. 
The captain was saved. The fellow had been taking aim 
at him, and there is no doubt that he owes his life to the 
coolness and resolution of Lord Reginald, although he 
looked rather astonished at being treated in so uncere- 
monious a manner by a midshipman " 

" Why, you make Lord Reginald a perfect hero," ob- 
served a dowager duchess sitting opposite to Voules, who 
might possibly have suspected that the young gentleman 
was drawing on his imagination as to the details of the 

" Pray go on, Mr. Voules," said Lady Julia. " I could 
not listen to you without trembling ; and, did I not se^ 

Tlie French Frigate captured. %i 

my brother sitting safe there, should be thinking all sorts 
of dreadful things. I wonder any one remained alive 
on the decks of the ships engaged in so fearful a battle." 

"A good many did lose the number of their mess, 
but fewer were killed than might have been supposed, 
for round shot and bullets fortunately have a happy 
knack of making their way between the heads of people 
without hitting them. 

" By this time our gallant frigate, which had lately 
been under a cloud of canvas, swelling proudly to the 
breeze, made a deplorable appearance with ropes^ ends 
and torn sails hanging down from every mast and yard. 
The French ship, however, was in a still worse condition. 
The sails, however, were of sufficient service to force 
the two ships through the water, and the Frenchman 
took advantage of this, and hauled up, in a short time 
getting out of gun-shot, we being unable, in consequence 
of the loss of our gaff and topsails, to follow. Our 
captain, however, had no intention, as you may suppose, 
of letting her escape. All hands set to work to knot 
and splice our rigging, to refit braces and repair other 
damages. While thus employed, we saw the Frenchman's 
foremast fall over the side. Our crew, as you may sup- 
pose, raised a loud cheer at the sight, and redoubled 
their efforts to be ready, should a breeze spring up, for 
again getting within range of our opponent. Scarcely 
had the hands reached the deck, when we saw a ripple 
playing over the ocean ; the sails were trimmed, and 
once more, with eager hearts, we steered towards the 
French ship. We did not suppose that she would hold 
out long, but after the pluck her captain had exhibited, 

3 2 The Rival Crtisoes. 

we fully expected to be at it again. In a few minutes 
the crew were at their quarters, ready to fire a broadside, 
when down came the Frenchman's colours. 

" 'She has struck ! she has struck,!' resounded through 
the ship. We at once hove to. The first lieutenant 
was sent on board to take possession ; I had the honour 
to accompany him. The sight I had witnessed on board 
our own ship was bad enough, for we had upwards of 
twenty men killed and wounded, the former still lying 
in their blood where they fell ; but on stepping on the 
Frenchman's deck, it seemed literally covered with dead 
men, for the rest of the crew had been too busy to throw 
any of them overboard, while the cockpit below was 
filled with wounded, many of whom were too much hurt 
to recover. 

"The French captain, who came to the gangway to 
present his sword to the first lieutenant, informed us that 
the ship was the Reynard^ when we found that she was 
not only of larger size and carried four more guns than 
we had, but had commenced the action with upwards 
of two hundred men more than we mustered. The 
French captain, Monsieur Brunet, who had really fought 
his ship very gallantly, shrugged his shoulders, exclaim- 
ing, *It is the fortune of war!' as he delivered up his 
sword, and was requested, having packed up his personal 
effects, to go on board the Wolfy in a boat sent for the 
purpose. The boats of the French frigate were too much 
knocked about to float, and it took us some time to 
remove the prisoners and send a prize crew on board. 
It was night, therefore, before we were ready to make 
sail, when we steered a course for the north-west, to 

Escape from the French Fleet, 33 

avoid the French fleet, which was supposed to be off the 
coast of Spain or Portugal. 

"The scene on board the prize made me very glad 
to get back to my own ship. Though we had gained the 
battle, we were not allowed to sleep on beds of roses. 
Our prisoners considerably outnumbered our own crew, 
and our boatswain, who spoke French, having been taken 
during the earlier part of the war, overheard some of 
them discussing a plan for overpowering us and regaining 
the prize. As we could not put them all in irons, we 
had to keep a strict watch over their movements. 

" The weather remained fine, but there was a thick mist 
which prevented us from seeing far ahead. It had just 
gone two bells in the morning watch, when, as I was for- 
ward, I heard a tinkling sound. I listened attentively. 

Again the sound distinctly struck my ear. It came home 
along the surface of the water from some distance. I 
reported the circumstance to the officer of the watch, and 
he immediately sent to inform the captain. He soon 
reached the deck, and after listening for a while, an- 
nounced it to be his belief that the sounds proceeded 
from the French fleet. He immediately ordered the 
ship's course to he changed to the westward. In another 
hour we again hauled up to the northward. When morn- 
ing broke, the look-out from the mast announced a 
fleet in sight to the south-east. All the sail we and our 
prize could make was set. We soon discovered, how- 
ever, that several large ships were in chase of us, but 
our captain was not the man to give in while a stick 
remained standing. We continued our course, hoping 
that a change of wind or some other chance might enable 

34 ^'^^ Rival Crusoes, 

us to escape our pursuers. It would have been tanta- 
lizing to have lost our prize and have been taken 
prisoners ourselves, and some of the least hopeful 
declared that such would be our fate. ' \Nq\\* exclaimed 
Lord Reginald, ' we must submit, but nothing can take 
away the honour we have gained by capturing a French 
frigate of superior force.' Your ladyship will perceive 
the courage and spirit of your gallant son; indeed, he has 
exhibited them on many occasions, and I hope that some 
day we may see him leading England's fleets to victory." 

"What's that you are saying about me?'' exclaimed 
Lord Reginald, from the other end of the table, for 
during the sudden silence of those around him he had 
caught the last words uttered by his messmate. 

*'Mr. Voules is only speaking of you as you deserve, 
my dear Reginald,'* said the marchioness. " He has been 
giving us an account of the battle and the gallant way 
in which you behaved." 

"We all behaved gallantly, or we should not have 
thrashed the enemy," said Reginald, laughing. 

" I hope Mr. Voules has given you a clearer account 
than Reginald has himself, for, except that the two ships 
spent the morning in pounding away at each other, and 
that at length the Frenchman, being tired of the amuse- 
ment, and having lost his foremast, hauled down his 
colours, I have heard no details of the action," said the 

" Then his modesty prevented him relating how he 
lashed the bowsprit to the rigging and saved the captain's 
life," observed the marchioness. 

**I lash the bowsprit to the rigging? Why, the men 

Toady Voules pursues his Vocation. 35 

did that, and very imperfectly they performed the work, 
or our antagonist would not have got clear again ; and as 
to saving the captain's life, I know only that I took up a 
musket and brought Aown a Frenchman, or he would 
have knocked over the captain or me, or somebody else." 

" \Vhose account is to be relied on ?" asked the 
marquis, looking somewhat puzzled. 

"I do not wish to gainsay my noble messmate, but 
your lordship must make allowance for his modesty, and 
give me credit for stating facts as they occurred," an- 
swered Voules. 

"I see how it is," observed the marquis, glancing 
approvingly at his son. 

"Merit is always modest, which may account, Mr. 
Voules, for your not having described your own gallant 
deeds," said the marchioness, looking hard at him. Being 
a clear-sighted woman, she may have suspected why the 
smooth-tongued young gentleman had praised his noble 

"But how did the Wolf and her prize manage to 
escape from the enemy?" asked Lady Julia. "Pray 
go on and tell us, Mr. Voules." 

" For some time I must own that we fully expected to 
be captured, for wounded as our masts and spars were, 
we could not venture to make more sail ; indeed, it is a 
wonder those of the prize which remained standing did 
not fall over the side. Fortunately, we had a good start, 
and the wind being light, the French ships did not gain 
on us as fast as they would othenvise have done. To our 
infinite satisfaction, just about noon, we ?>ixv^ them haul 
their wind, having been probably recalled by their 

36 The Rival Crusoes. 

admiral, who tliought it possible that they might run into 
the jaws of an English squadron, which he must have 
known was cruising in the neighbourhood. We had still 
no small anxiety about our prisoners, and, I believe, it 
was not a little owing to the vigilance of Lord Reginald 
that they were prevented from rising. His perfect know- 
ledge of French, for which he tells me he is indebted to 
his sisters, enabled him to speak to the men, warning 
them of the danger they would run should they make the 
attempt, and in a short time he brought them into good 
humour, notwithstanding which, as before, a strict watch 

was kept on their movements. Having stood well to the 
westward, we got a fair breeze, which carried us up 
Channel and safe inside the Isle of Wight, where I hope the 
prize is by this time, for she was close in with ihQ Needles, 
and was only prevented following us for want of wind 
and the ebb still making out against her. It would be a 
serious matter if she were to run on shore during the 

night, or be retaken by a French cruiser." 

" No chance of that," observed Reginald. " No French 
cruiser would ever venture so close in with our shore, 
and within two or three hours at most the prize would be 
able to follow the frigate." 

"I must get you, Mr. Voules, to repeat the account 
you have given of the action for my benefit, as Reginald 
is wonderfully reticent on the subject," said the marquis. 

"I shall have great pleasure, my lord," answered 
Voules, bowing. 

" In the mean time, do me the honour of taking wine, 
and we will afterwards drink a bumper round to the 
future success of the Wolf" said the marquis. 

The Midshipmen toasted. %"] 

" The very toast I was going to propose," said an old 
general, who had long since been placed on the shelf. 
" Though my fighting days are over, an account such as 
we have just heard warms up my stagnant blood, and 
I beg to second your lordship's proposal." 

"Charge your glasses, gentlemen, and I hope, ladies, 
that on this occasion you will join us," exclaimed the 
master of the house. 

No one declining, the fair sex put out their more 
moderately sized glasses to be filled as the bottle went 
round. The toast was drunk, the whole party standing, 
with the exception of the two midshipmen, who, with as- 
sumed modest looks, retained their places. 

"And now we will give three cheers for our naval 
heroes," cried the old general, making an effort to stand 

up on his chair, but giving it up, as he reflected on the 
danger he might run of toppling over among the dishes 
which still covered the board. 

" Hip, hip, hip, hurrah ! " and the supper-room rang 
with the sounds, which were taken up by the servants out- 
side and repeated in the hall below, where the domestics 
not in waiting were making merry. 

When all the gn^^ls sat do\\Ti they looked at the two 
midshipmen, while Reginald made signs to Voules to 

"You are the eldest, old fellow, and having been 
longest in the service, it is your business to reply." 

Voules, nothing loth, rose to his feet His only diffi- 
culty in commencing being the doubt whether he should 
address his friends as " My lords and ladies." His tact, 
however, prevented him doing so, and he contented him- 

38 The Rival Crusoes, 

self by neatly expressing his thanks for the honour done 
to the glorious service of which he was so humble a repre- 
sentative. " Had Lord Reginald been induced to speak," 
he added, "he would have said more to the purpose. My 
belief is, that should the war continue a few years longer, 
my noble friend will be found in command of as fine a 
frigate as the Wolf, and will outshine the deeds of his 
predecessors. Should I be so fortunate as to have reached 
the rank of lieutenant by that time, I hope that it will be 
my privilege to serve under him." 

Voules's modest remark in reference to himself drew 
forth, as he intended it should, a reply from his host, who 
assured him that any interest he possessed should be 
exerted to obtain for him the promotion he deserved, and 
that he hoped to see him a post-captain as soon as his 

son had obtained that rank. 

" Thank you, my lord, thank you ! " exclaimed Voules, 
highly delighted. " Your lordship will allow me to re- 
mind you of your promise, whenever Lord Reginald 
obtains a step in rank. I do not aspire to be promoted 
before him, and shall be glad to serve ?n any ship to 
which he is appointed, until we are both eligible for inde- 
pendent commands." 

The ladies now withdrew, and when the gentlemen left 
the supper-table it was found that they had retired to 
their rooms. Voules was too prudent a man generally to 
take more wine than his head could stand. So delighted, 
however, did he feel with his bright prospects, that he 
found considerable difficulty in restraining his tongue, and 
excusing himself on the plea of fatigue, was glad to make 
his way to his room, where he was followed by Lord John. 

Voules made mtich of. 39 

'* I came to thank you, Mr. Voules, for the very hand- 
some way in which you spoke of my brother," said the 
latter. " He is a very fine fellow, somewhat thoughtless 
and impetuous, and requires guiding, and I rejoice to 
think that he has found so steady a friend as you are 
to guide and restrain him." 

Voules put on as sedate an air as possible, although 
just then he did not feel very capable of guiding himself, 
for he had had considerable difficulty in steering a 
straight course along the passage which led to his room. 
"You may depend upon me, my dear Lord John, that 
I will do my best to keep your lordship's brother out of 
mischief. I ^o not profess to be his monitor, but I may 
exert an unperceived influence over him to his advan- 

" And did he really perform all the gallant acts you 
describe ? " asked Lord John. 

" Every one of them, and others besides," answered the 
midshipman. " There's not a more gallant young officer in 

the service, and he'll make the world know it some day, 
if no harm befall him." 

In spite of all the efforts he made, Voules could not help 
yawning, and Lord John, perceiving this, allowed him to 
go to bed in quiet, while he went to have a further talk 
with his brother, who, however, by that time, had turned 
in and had already fast closed his eyes. 

In the mean time Dick Hargrave hurried towards his 
home with the fish he and Ben had caught, anxious to 
present them to his young sister, whom he dearly loved. 
He stopped at the village inn, tlie Admiral Benbow, and 
found that the two midshipmen had only just left it for 


40 The Rival Crusoes. 

Elverston Hall. "I have no fancy to meet the young 
lord and his friend," observed Dick, " or we may chance 
to fall out, so I'll take the other road, and shall soon get 
ahead of them. " 

Following this wise resolution, he set off at a pace 
which soon brought him to the borders of the forest 
He knew the road too well to be impeded by the dark- 
ness. He was running on, his own footsteps not 
allowing him to hear other sounds, when on passin 
beneath some overhanging trees, the shadow of which 
prevented him from seeing objects ahead, he suddenly 
found himself close upon a body of men, some on horse- 
back and others on foot, escorting a line of carts. Dick 
at once knew what they were about, and not wishing to 
be stopped, he sprang on, hoping to remain concealed 
behind the trunk of a tree until they had passed by ; but 
he had been observed, and two of the men came up to 


"What business have you here, youngster? " asked one 

of them, seizing his arm and dragging him forward. 

" I am Fanner Hargrave's son, and am on my way home 
with some fish Ben Rudall and I have been catching 
for my sister Janet," he answered. 

" All right. Master Dick," said the man ; " we know 
you well enough ; but don't say that you have seen us, 
and if Ben has taken care to show himself, the revenue 
people won't suspect what's in the wind, as they will 
think that he would be sure to be along with us. Have 
you any news ? " 

"Nothing that much concerns you, Master Fryer," 
answered Dick, who recognized the speaker. " A frigate 

Dick meets the Smugglers. 41 

anchored in Yarmouth Roads this evening, and two of the 
officers, one of them Lord Elverston's son, have landed 
and gone on to the hall" 

"I should like to pay them off for the trouble the 
marquis gives us," said Fryer ; " though we have put him 
on a wrong scent, and he is not likely to find out this 
time what we are about, until the goods are safe in the 
hands of the London merchants. '^ 

" It would not do us much good to interfere with the 
youngsters," observed the otlier man. " If the marquis 
would but let us alone we should have no ill will towards 
him. All we want is free trade and fair pla3\" 

" You are right there, mate," observed Fryer ; " and 
now, Master Dick, you may go your way, and remember to 
keep a quiet tongue in your head." 

Dick, escorted by his captors, who explained who he 
was, passed unquestioned through the main body of the 
smugglers, who had halted for some reason for a few 
minutes, just as he got up to them. Dick again hurried 
on, while the smugglers proceeded along by-paths across 
the country, shortly after to fall in, as has been seen, with 
the midshipmen. Dick was met by his faithful dog, who 
was always on the watch for him when he was away from 
home, and having an especial duty to perform, seldom 
accompanied him. That duty, which he performed with 
exemplary patience, was to lead about blind Janet, who, 
under his guidance, when she was well, would venture in 
all directions without the slightest fear of a mishap. 
Every one in the neighbourhood knew her and her dog, 
and even the roughest characters treated her with courtesy. 
Of late her walks had been greatly curtailed, for the last 

42 The Rival Crusoes. 

few days Faithful's office had become a sinecure, though 
he still remained at his post, ready to perform his duty if 
required. He was a handsome spaniel, and had been 
brought up from a puppy by Dick, who had thoroughly 
broken him in. Though fond of scampering across the 
fields and poking his nose into every hole he could find 
in the hedges and ditches, he became as sedate as a 
judge the moment Janet called him and fastened the 
ribbon by which she was led to his collar. Dick was 
naturally very fond of his dog, but had become still more 
so since the animal had shown how useful it could make 
itself to poor Janet. 

Faithful, who had long been on the watch, when he 
heard his master's footsteps, with a bark of welcome 
leaped over the palings, and came frollicking and leaping 

round him, licking his hands to show his joy, and together 
they entered the house. 

Mrs. Hargrave, a comely, pleasant-looking dame, was 
seated busily stitching by the side of the table. " What 
has kept you so late, Dick ? " she asked in an anxious 
tone. " Your father has gone to bed, as he must be up 
betimes. We thought that you had got into some mis- 
chief; but I am thankful to see you back, my son." 

Dick explained what he had been about, and exhibited 
the fish he had brought. " And how is Janet this even- 
ing?" he asked. "I thought that I should have been 
back in time for her to have one for supper, but they'll 
do for her breakfast or her dinner to-morrow." 

" She's asleep, sweet dear ! though Fm afraid she*s no 
better. The Lord's will be done, if He thinks fit to take 
her ; and then, Dick, I want you to remember that you 

Ben and his Mother. 43 

will be your father^s chief hope and stay in his trouble. 
Whether or not we shall have to turn out of our home, 
and seek for another farm, is more than I can say. Your 
father doesn't wish to displease the marquis, but he 
thinks that it is his right to remain where he is, and that 
he would not be acting like an Englishman to give up 
that right" 

*''0f course he would not," exclaimed Dick. "Ben 
Rudall says he would not knock under to the marquis or 
any other lord, and he would hold on fast with tooth and 

"I don't want to say anything against Ben Rudall, my 
son ; but I wish that you were not such friends with him. 
He is a smuggler, and may draw you into mischief, 
though maybe you*ll think it ungrateful in me to say so, 
when he has helped you to catch those fish. Remember 
that you cannot associate with bad characters without 
getting some harm and being looked upon as one of 

" '^(txi is a right honest fellow, and true as steel," 
answered Dick. " I don't like to hear anything said 
against him, mother ; if he were ever so bad, he would not 
lead me astray." 

" He is a smuggler, Dick, and though he may be true 
to his companions, he is false to his country, or he would 
not be trying to cheat the revenue, as the smugglers do." 

"I had not thought. of that; but don't you trouble 
yourself about Ben," answered DicL " Now, mother, I 
am pretty hungry, and should like some bread and 
cheese ; " and Dick turned round to go to the larder. 

" Sit down, my son, and I'll get them for you," said 

44 The Rival Crusoes. 

Mrs. Hargrave, taking the iisli at the same time. '* While 
you are eating, I'll clean these, and they'll be ready in 
the morning if Janet has a fancy for one of them." 

She soon returned, not only with some bread and cheese 
but sonie cold meat, and a mug of home-brewed beer, 
showing that the good housewife did not stint her family. 

Dick described the arrival of the young lord and his 
shipmate. " I'd as leave he had stopped at sea, for, 
somehow or other, he and I are always getting foul of 
each other. But there will be rare doings up at the hall 
to welcome him home, especially li there's been a battle, 
as Ben thinks, and his ship gained the day." 

"Then, Dick, do you keep out of his way, and no 
harm can come of it," said Mrs. Hargrave. " I am glad, 
however, for her ladyship's sake, and the young ladies, 

for they will be main pleased to see him. Only this 
morning they came here to visit Janet, and when I told 
my lady what Mr. Gooch says, she promised to speak to 
the marquis, and that makes me hope that the matter 
will be settled better than your father expects." 

" Not if that young lord finds out about it. He'll try 

and set his father against us. You should have Iicard 
him and his shipmate this afternoon blackguarding Ben 
and me, because we wouldn't carry their portmanteaus." 

" There would have been no disgrace in so doing. It 
shows that they thought you stronger men than them- 
selves," observed Mrs. Hargrave. 

"I should not have minded doing it, if it hadn't been 
for Ben ; but the way they spoke put his back up, and he 
gave them a piece of his mind." 

"Just now, Dick, you said that you would not be 

The Good Mother s Advice. 45 

influenced by Ben; but surely you were on that occasion," 
remarked Mrs. Hargrave. " However, Dick, I do not 
want to blame you, but just try to keep clear of those 
men, and show what a help you can be to your father on 
the farm. Now, as you have had your supper, you had 
better go to bed, and I'll close the door. I want to sit 
by Janet's side, in case she should awake before I lie 
down. Do not forget to say your prayers, my son, and 
sing one of the hymns I taught you, though you look so 
sleepy that I am afraid you will not think much about 
what you are saying." 

Dick had in truth given way to several wide yawns, 
while his eyelids had begun to droop. He followed his 
mother's advice, as far as he was able, and especially in 
the last particular ; but he was fast asleep as soon almost 

as his head touched the pillow. 


Good intentions— Blind Janet — Poor Faithful shot — A trying 
moment — Dick's anger — Desire of revenge — A dangerous speech 
— Threatening to shoot — The consequences — Tempted — Indigna- 
tion of the farmer's son— A sorrowful duty — Grief of the blind 
girl — A scheme of Mr. Gooch— Dick*s fears of arrest— Running 
away from home — At the smuggler's cottage — On board the 
Nancy — Safe for the present. 

ICK HARGRAVE kept to his resolution of 
trying to avoid meeting with Lord Reginald. 
Should he do so it wo'uld not be his fault, and 
should he fall in with him, he would endeavour to retain 
his temper, should his lordship speak to him in his 
former style. He likewise refrained from going to Key- 
haven, or any other place where he was likely to meet 
any of his associates engaged in smuggling, although it 
was difficult to say who was not, more or less, implicated 
in the lawless proceedings so general at that time along 
the south coast. He assisted his father on the farm, and 
occasionally took Janet out for a short walk, as, notwith- 
standing the doctor's expectations, she was able to get 
up again the very day after she had appeared to be so ill. 

Failhfuts Last Run. 47 

She declared that it was owing to the nice fish Dick 
had brought her. Again, however, she was confined to 
her room. As she could not take out Faithful, she 
begged that t)ick would give him a run. "The poor 
dog sits so quietly at my feet all day, and if he sees me 
moving, I hear his tail thumping on the floor, and he 
begins to scamper about, fancying I am going to take 
him out. It is very dull for him, poor dog, and he 
deserves some amusement," she said. 

Dick promised to follow her wishes, and the next 
morning, saying that he would try to shoot a rabbit, and 
summoning Faithful, who bounded after him, he set off 

with his gun in his hand. With the assistance of the dog, 
he soon shot a couple of rabbits, with which he was 
about to return home. Faithful, however, highly delighted 

at finding himself abroad, went ranging wildly over the 
fields. Dick called to him, but the dog was too eager 
in the chase or too far off to hear his voice, and did not, 
as usual, return. Some minutes passed, when Dick heard 
a shot coming from the direction in which Faithful had 
disappeared. He hurried on, fearing that one of the 
keepers had cauglit sight of him; but then they all knew 
Janet's dog, and the most surly would not have had the 
heart to fire at the honest brute, even though he might 
have been infringing the game laws by scampering for 
amusement after a hare or rabbit. Dick looked out 
anxiously, hoping to see the dog return ; but though he 
shouted, "Faithful! Faithful!" and whisded shrilly, the 
animal did not make its appearance. V^ond^Qxing what 
could have become of it, he went on calling its name. At 
last he saw it crawling towards him, dragging its limbs 

48 The Rival Crusoes, 

along in evident pain. At length the poor dog, unable 
to get further, sank to the ground. Dick, darting forward 
to where it lay, stooped down to ascertain how it was 
hurt. Its lacerated side, which bled profusely, showed 
that it had been shot. 

"What villain has dared to hurt you, my poor Faith- 
ful?" exclaimed Dick. 

The dog's only reply, true to its name, was to lick his 
hand and endeavour to rise, but again it fell back, and 
after a few convulsive struggles, expired. 

" Poor, poor Faithful ! Janet will miss you, that she 
will ! She will never find so trusty an animal to lead her 
about ; but I'll be revenged on the fellow, whoever he is 
He ought to have known that you never poached, though 
you did love to run after a hare, for the fun of the thing. 
If I can meet the savage brute I'll shoot him, as sure as 
my name is Richard Hargrave." 

"What's that you say, you young ruffian?" exclaimed 
a voice near him. 

Dick had not observed three persons who had ap- 
proached. Looking up, he saw Lord Reginald and his 
brother midshipman, attended by a keeper. 

" I do say that the heartless fellow who shot this dog 
deserves to be shot himself," exclaimed Dick, looking 
boldly up. 

" I shot the dog ; ft deserved to be killed for chasing 
hares on my father's property," answered the young lord. 
" You yourself must have set him on to drive the hares 
towards you. You are a poacher ; we must have you up 
Defore the magistrates and punish you accordingly." 

" I did not set him on/' answered Dick, rising to his 

Faithful killed. 49 

feet, " and I had no ititention of killing any hares on the 
Elverston property. These rabbits I shot on my father's 
farm, and I had a perfect right to kill them. The dog 
belongs to my blind sister. As she is ill, I took the poor 
brute out for a run." 

"A very likely story I" exclaimed Lord Reginald. 
" You have a gun in your hand and rabbits over your 
shoulder, and you had sent your dog scampering over 
the fields in search of more. I know your name, and 
shall report you to my father, so you may expect to take 
up your quarters in prison before many days are over." 

" The lad speaks the truth, my lord, about the dog," 
observed the keeper, who had stepped forward and ex- 
amined poor Faithful. " I have seen it many a time 
leading Farmer Hargrave's blind daughter about, though 
whether he shot the rabbits on his father's farm or not 
is another matter. We have never found him poaching 
before, so that part of the story may be true also." 

" I am sorry to have shot the dog, if it was useful to 
his blind sister," said Lord Reginald; "and, I say, 
Jackson, I wish you'd look out for another to give the 
poor girl, instead of this one; she'll not find out the 

" I wouldn't let her receive it if you should give her 
one!" exclaimed Dick, his anger in no way pacified by 
the young lord's expressions of regret. " No dog could 
be found to equal Faithful ; but I myself will look after 
a dog to take its place." 

" Really, my dear Oswald, I cannot stand by to see 
you thus insulted by this ungrateful young ruflian," said 

Voules. " He has threatened to shoot you, and he looks 

50 The Rival Crusoes. 

like a fellow capable of doing what he says. The sooner 
he is taken up and sent to prison the better." 

" I have not been poaching ! If you lay hands on 
me it will be the worse for you," said Dick, grasping 
his gun. 

" Come, come, Master Dick, do you go to your home, 
and do not be so foolish as to threaten mischief. It 
is dangerous to use such words, and you'll be sorry for 
them by-and-by," said the keeper, wisely interposing 
between the exasperated young men. " I know where 
to find you if you are wanted ; but I don't suppose 
the marquis will be hard upon you, when he hears how 
it was your sister's dog was shot. If, my lord, you'll 
please to let the lad go, I'll undertake that he shall not 
come into the park again. His father is not the man to 
allow him to do anything against the law." 

Lord Reginald, who really much regretted having shot 
the dog, willingly listened to the keeper's advice, and 
Voules, who had no object to gain in irritating him 
further against Dick Hargrave, said no more on the 

" Well, Hargrave, I will try to forget your threats, and 
I again assure you that had I known the dog was your 
sister's, I would not have shot it," said Lord Reginald, 
turning aside ; and without waiting for an answer he led 

the way, followed by Voules and the keeper, in the 
direction of the hall, leaving Dick still standing by the 
side of his dog. 

" I do not trust his fair words," said Dick, looking 
after the party; "but I am obliged to Jackson for speak- 
ing a word in my favour, for if it had not been for him. 

Dick unfortunately meets Ben. 51 

matters would have become worse. Poor Faithful ! I 
don't know how I shall ever have the heart to tell Janet 
what has happened," and stooping down he again ex- 
amined the dog, to assure himself that it was really dead. 
Of this he was soon convinced. " I'll not let you lie here, 
my poor dog!" he exclaimed, and taking it up in his 
arms, he walked away with it towards his home. He 
was crossing the road from Keyhaven, when a voice 
hailed him, and looking round he saw Ben Rudall 

" What hast thou got there, Dick ? " asked Ben. 
" Your sister's dog — and killed, too I How did that 
happen ? " 

Dick told him, describing what had occurred. 

" And thee wouldst trust the chaps, would thee ? " said 

Ben, speaking in the Hampshire dialect. " No, no ; 
don't be doin' that. Measter Jackson may have spoken 
fair enough, but he knows that he's got his thumb on thee, 
an' can come down on thee when he loiks. Now, just 
listen to what I have got to say. I was going to look for 
thee. The Nancy is expected in before many days are 
over, an' she'll be sailing again the next morning. If 
thee'U come down to Keyhaven, there'll be a good 
chance of taking a trip, an' 'twill be safer for thee to be out 
of the way in case the young lord should change his mind 
an' have thee up for poachin'. When the marquis hears 
of it, it's my belief that he won't let thee off, for he's 
wonderfully strict about the matter, and if he had his will 
he'd be sending half the people hereabouts to prison.'' 
Dick had not forgotten his mother's advice to keep 

clear of Ben Rudall, and he knew well enough that even 

52 The Rival Crusoes, 

though he should only go as a passenger, he would be 
committed to whatever was done by her crew. 

" You mean kindly, Ben, I know," he said ; " but I 
cannot leave Janet, she's so ill ; and if she gets better, 
there'll one except mother and me to walk out with 
her, now poor Faithful's gone ; but if I hear there's a 
chance of my being had up for poaching, maybe it's the 
best thing I can do." 

Ben laughed scornfully. " They'll not let thee know 
what they intend to do ; but thee would find thyself earned 
off to Winchester jail some fine morning, so just don't be 
a fool, Dick, an' come along with me." 

Dick, however, was firm in his resolution not to go oS 

without seeing his mother and sister, and Ben was obliged 
to be content with his promise that he would come down 
to Keyhaven to talk the matter over. He would have 
been wiser had he not given that promise. 

Ben returned the way he had come, and Dick, carrying 
the body of his dog, continued on towards his home. 

On reaching the cottage, he carried the dog to a comer 
of the garden, while he went in for a spade to dig its 

grave. While he was searching for one in the outhouse, 
his mother saw him. 

" What has happened, Dick ? " she exclaimed, observing 
the blood on his clothes. 

He at once narrated what had occurred, for although 
he had many faults, he was truthful to her. 

*'I am very sorry for what has happened. Poor dear 
Janet will almost break her heart. She said that she 
should like to take a stroll to-morrow with Faithful, if 
you were not able to accompany her. However, we 

Mrs. Hargrave exposttdates with Dick, '^2i 

must bear with it. From what you say, the young lord 
would not have shot the dog if he had known whose it 
was, and if he gives Janet another, she may become 
as fond of it as she was of Faithful." 

"I should not like her to become fond of Lord 

Reginald's dog," answered Dick, *'If he sends one, I shall 
have a mind to shoot it, or send it back to him with a 
kettle tied to its tail" 

" That would not be a right thing to do," observed Mrs, 
Hargrave. "We should not harbour ill feelings towards 
others, though they have done us wrong. Come in now, 
and let me wash the blood off your coat. It looks bad, 
and if your father were to return, it would frighten him, as 

it did me. We'll just break the news gently to Janet, 
and don't say you won't receive another dog if the young 

lord sends one. Remember how kind his mother and 

sisters are, and I dare say he is not so bad at heart, though 

he has more than once fallen out with you." 

" He has an abusive tongue in his head, and that shows 
what sort of heart he has got," answered Dick, not in- 
clined to agree with his mother about Lord Reginald. 
" You tell me the ladies speak so sweetly, but, as Ben 
Rudall says, that's all outside show, and I would not trust 

" That's because you have never been at home when 
they have called, or you would have agreed with me, if you 
had," observed Mrs. Hargrave, " Stay here while I get a 
sponge and some hot water ; I can't let you go about as 
you are \ I cannot tell what people would say. If you 
were seen, there would be all sorts of tales about you." 

** I don't care what is said, and I should just like them 

54 ^>^^ Rival Crusoes. 

to know that Lord Reginald is a brute. That's what I 
call him." 

**Hush! hush, Dick 1" said his mother. "Sit you down 
here, until I have taken off those blood stains, for although 
poor Janet cannot see them, some one else may come in, 
and ask what has happened." 

Dick seated himself on a bench to which his mother 
pointed, and she quickly returned with soap and water- 
It was no easy operation, however, to get rid of the stains, 
and Dick declared that before he came in he must bury 
the dog. To this Mrs. Hargrave consented, as she thought 
it would be a good opportunity to tell Janet of the loss of 
her favourite. 

Dick, taking up the spade, and having selected a 
spot for Faithful's grave, began digging away. More than 

once he stopped and gazed at the animal, feeling un- 
willing to put it so soon out of sight ; then he went on 
more energetically than before. Having just completed 
his task, he leaned on his spade, while the tears rolled 
down his cheeks, as he thought he should never see his 
dog again. The wind had begun to blow strong, and 
dark clouds were gathering in the sky. The gloomy 
aspect of Nature suited his feelings. On looking up, he 
saw his mother and Janet approaching. 

" Mother has told me, Dick, what has happened," said 
his sister, as she came up. "I want to stroke Faithful's 
head once more before you put him into his grave." She 
stooped down by the side of the dog. " Oh ! He doesn't 
feel my hand now," she said. " I am very sorry ; but, Dick, 
I want you to promise me not to nourish anger against the 
young lord. He would not have fired had he known the 

By Faithfids Grave. 55 

dog was so useful to me. He told you as much. If I 
forgive him, you must." 

" I may forgive, but I do not forget," said Dick. " If he 
keeps to his word, I'll believe that he did not intend to do 
the cruel act However, we must put poor Faithful in his 

grave, and \i I do not make a vow to be revenged on 
Lord Reginald, it is because you are here to prevent 
me, Janet" 

" I would that you had a higher motive than that," 
said Mrs. Hargrave. "Now, Janet, you must return to 
the house ; I promised you'd stop but one minute ; Dick 
will soon have finished his task, and then he'll come in to 
supper. Father will soon be home, Dick, so don't delay." 

Dick, having at length brought himself to place the 
dog in its grave, hastily shovelled in the earth, muttering 
as he did so, " He'd better not cross me again ; if he does 
he'll have to repent it Lie there, poor dog ! " he added, 
as he finished the work, " I've a mind to put up a tomb- 
stone, and write on it, * Wantonly killed by Lord Reginald 

Oswald. ' " 

On entering the cottage, he found that his father, having 

come in, had heard what had happened. He was thank- 
ful at all events that he had not had to break the ncAvs to 
Janet Farmer Hargrave said what he thought would 
pacify his son, and declared his belief that the young 
lord had not killed the dog with any malicious intent 

Dick pressed his lips together and made no reply. He 
could not trust himself. They were just finishing supper 
when a knock was heard at the door, and Dick, opening 
it, Mr. Gooch the bailiff entered. 

"Good evening, fixrmer; good evening, dame ; somewhat 

56 The Rival Crusoes, 

stormy weather," he said, throwing back his wet coat, and 
placing his dripping hat on the floor, as he took the scat 
offered him. " I didn't think it was coming on to be so 
bad, until just before sunset. It blows hard enough now, 
and the rain is coming down in torrents, but I wanted to 
talk over that affair between us, so I came out in spite of 
the weather." 

" What have you got to say, Mr. Gooch ? " asked the 
farmer. " You know as well as I do that I have no 
wish to leave this farm. It will be a heavy loss to me to 
give it up, and I am determined to abide by my rights." 

"Very good, Mr. Hargrave, very good," said the 
bailiff, in a bland tone. " His lordship doesn't want to be 
hard upon you, and if you have the right to remain, he 
would be the last man to ask you to turn out, but as I 
before told you, you have not the right, and if you go to 
law you'll be worsted. Now, a little piece of information 
has come to my knowledge which may make you see that 
it would not be wise to go to law, even supposing there 
was a chance of your winning. I have not communi- 
cated with my lord on the subject, so I act on my own 
responsibihty. This lad here, your son, has put himself 
in an awkward position. He has been poaching — not for 
the first time, either. I have just heard all about it from 
Jackson, the keeper, and from a young gentleman who is 
staying at the hall. They can give evidence, not only 
that he was poaching, but that he threatened the life of 
Lord Reginald Oswald — a very serious business, let me 
tell you. Had he fired, as he threatened to do, he would 
have been hung to a certainty, and as it is, I see every 
probability that he will be sentenced to seven years' penal 

The Bailiff's Threats, 57 

servitude. Now, of course, his lordship has it in his 
power to overlook the offence, and if I can tell him that 
you will yield to his wishes and consent to give up the 
farm, I am pretty sure that you will hear no more about 
the matter, only you must restrain your son from poach- 
ing in future, or from associating with smugglers, as I 
have evidence that he is in the habit of doing." 

The farmer listened to all the bailiff said, while Dick 
sat clenching his hands, with his ey&s to Hiq ground, 
every now and then giving a look at his mother. 

Ben was right, then, in warning him. Had he accom- 
panied the old smuggler at once, and got out of the way, 
Mr. Gooch would not have been able to obtain the upper 
hand of his father. 

When the bailiff had finished, Mr. Hargrave replied, 
" I have before given you my answer. I believe the mar- 
quis to be a just man. If he finds I have the right to 
continue in the farm, he would not wish to dispossess me. 
In regard to Dick, the provocation he received by having 
his dog killed would excuse any thoughtless words he 
might have uttered. So I cannot offer to give up my 
rights for fear oi the consequences, and I will never 
believe that Lord Elverston would act as you suggest." 

" Then you dare to say that you doubt my word, Farmer 
Hargrave ? " exclaimed the bailiff, in a tone of indigna- 
tion, rising from his seat. " I'll give you until to-morrow 
to think over the matter; but you'll take the consequences 
if you have the same answer ready for me. And dame, I 
would advise you to persuade your husband to act as 
I recommend, or, whether you go out of the farm or not, 
that lad of yours, before many days are over, will be 

58 The Rival Crusoes. 

lodged in Winchester jail, and be sent to Botany Bay, if 
he doesn't get the chance of entering on board a king*s 
^ ship. Perhaps they won't give him his choice, for threaten- 
ing to shoot a lord is a serious matter," 

" Oh, Mr. Gooch, you would not be so cruel as to wish 
to send our Dick to prison ! " exclaimed Janet, who had 
been listening to what was said. 

" All your father has to do is to agree to what I pro- 
pose, and he is safe enough," answered the bailiif. " I 
can stay no longer. I called in to give some friendly 
advice. If not taken, it is not my fault ; so good night to 
all. I hope that you'll settle the matter between you ! " 

Mr. Gooch got up to go. Dick opened the door, having 
no wish to detain him. Looking out, he saw that the 
account given of the weather was not exaggerated. 

"Is Is plaguey dark, Mr. Gooch 1 " he observed. "You*d 
better take a lantern, sir." 

" No, no y I know my way as well in the dark as in the 
daylight," was the reply, and Mr. Gooch stepping out, was 
soon lost to sight. 

No sooner was the door closed than Dick exclaimed, 
" Don't give in, father. I'd sooner go to prison, or 
Botany Bay, or be sent to sea, or be hung, for that matter, 
rather than that you should yield up your rights and be 
turned out of this farm." 

" I will not give up the farm if I have a right to keep 
it, but if the law is against me, go I must ; still, I would 
not have you suffer, Dick, unless you deserve it, and if it 
is proved that you were poaching, and that you threatened 
to shoot the young lord, you must, as the bailiff says, take 
the consequences, though it would well-nigh break my 

Dick resolves to leave Home. 59 

heart to see you punished. But I have not much fear on 
the score either way. It is my belief that the marquis 
does not know much about the matter of the farm, and 
from beginning to end it is all the doing of Mr. Gooch. 
What he cares for is to please his master, and as he 
knows that his lordship has a fancy for extending the 
park, he wants to get me to turn out, and now that he 
thinks he has got hold of you, he fancies that he can 
frighten me to do so. In regard to your affair, Dick, 
when the marquis hears of the provocation you received, 
I don't think he will be hard upon you." 

The farmer made these remarks to tranquillize as far 
as he could the mind of his wife. Perhaps he did not 
feel so confident himself. So Dick at all events thought 
The family soon afterwards separated for the night. 

Dick went to his room, but could not sleep. The storm 
itself, though it whistled and howled around the cottage, 
would not have kept him awake. He thought over all 
that had happened, what he himself had said, and how 
Lord Reginald had looked and replied. "Whatever 
the gamekeeper may say, that other young fellow is 
against me, and \i they take me before the magistrate, 
Mr. Jackson will be upon his oath, and compelled to 
corroborate the midshipman's statement. It all depends 
on what they choose to do. There is no doubt I did 
threaten to shoot Lord Reginald, and I felt wonderfully 
inclined to do it, too. There's only one way I can see 
to get out of it and save father, and that is to take 
advantage of Ben Rudall's offer and to keep out of 
the way until the affair is blown over; I won't tell father 
or mother or they may be wishing to stop nae ; but I'll 


6o The Rival Crusoes. 

write a letter just to wish them and Janet good-bye for 
a short time, without saying where I am going, for that 
would spoil the whole thing. Ben says I shall like 
the life on board the lugger ; so I shall, though I wduld 
not have gone if there had not been this good reason. 
I cannot fancy that either father or mother will be really 
sorry when they find that I am safe out of the way." 
So said Dick to himself, and having come to this resolu- 
tion, he at length fell asleep. 

It was not a wise one, for it was like falling out of the 
frying-pan into the fire. There was a very remote risk 
of his being summoned before the magistrates, and if 
summoned, of his being committed for trial, whereas, in 
addition to the dangers of the sea, if captured on board 
the lugger, he would to a certainty be condemned as a 
smuggler and be sent to jail, if even worse did not come 
of it For a lad to be sent to jail in those days was 
a fearful punishment, for there was no separation of 
prisoners, and should Dick go there he would be herded 
with ruffians of every description, and could scarcely fail 
to come out again without being very much the worse 
for his incarceration. Just then, however, he only 
thought how he could best keep out of the way ol Mr. 
Gooch, and thus prevent him from inducing his father to 
yield up his rights, which he might do, notwithstanding 
his resolutions to the contrary, should he be thus able 
to save his son from punishment. 

Dick awoke just as the light of the early dawn made 
its way into the room. The storm had ceased, and the 
clouds were fast disappearing, giving promises of a fine 
day. He had been a good penman at school, so that 

Dick runs from Home, 6i 

he had no difficulty in writing his letter. He had bade 
an affectionate good night to them all, and he would not 
run the risk of being hindered in his project by remain- 


ing for breakfast. His letter was brief. 

"Dear father," it ran, "don't give up the farm. I 
shall be all safe, though I don't want you or any one 
else to find me until the matter is settled, but I have 
made up my mind that they shall not make a cat's paw 
of me. Love to mother and Janet. So no more from 

** Your affectionate son, 

" Dick." 

Leaving the letter on the table, with a bundle of 
clothes and a few other articles in his hand, he slipped 
silently downstairs, thankful to find that his father was 
not yet stirring. Filling his pocket with some bread 
and cheese irom the larder, he hurried out by the back 
door, which was not likely to be opened for some time, 
and made his way by by-paths in the direction of Key- 
haven. He Mt^ it must be confessed, somewhat like 
a culprit escaping from justice. Every now and then 
he looked back to ascertain if he was followed ; then 
again he ran on. He wished, if possible, to avoid 
meeting any one who might question him as to where 
he was bound at that early hour. The labourers would 
be going to work, but a considerable portion of the 
country through which he passed was still uncultivated. 
Twice when he saw people coming, he turned aside and 
hid himself behind a hedge until the men had passed. 
He thus reached Ben RudalPs cottage, without, as he 

62 The Rival Crtisoes. 

supposed, being seen b}' any one who knew him. Ben 
was not at home; but Susan asked him to come in and 
sit down. 

"He has been out nearly all night, Master Richard, 
but I am hoping to see him back safe every minute," 
she said. " He got notice that the Nancy was standing 
in for tlie coast, and went out to lend a helping hand. 
I don't mind telling you, as I know that you are not 
one of those who side with the revenue people, or would 
go and give information '' 

" Which would injure any of my friends," put in Dick. 
'* No, indeed, I would not. To say the truth, your 
husband promised me a trip on board the Nancy^ which 
I have come to accept." 

" He'll be main glad, for he has agreed to go himself 
the next trip, and he told me that he thought the lugger 
would be away again to-night or to-morrow at furthest. 
She's not likely to be long away, though, and I don't mind 
his going as much as I used to do. Sometimes he has 
been from home for six weeks or two months at a time, 
.either looking out for a cargo or waiting for a good 
chance to run across and land one on the English coast." 
Mrs. Rudall did not hesitate to describe the doings of 
the smugglers to Dick, though she would have been 
wonderfully reticent to a stranger; yet she showed her 
anxiety by frequently going to the door and looking round 
the corner in the direction she expected her husband to 
appear. " Here he comes ! here he comes !" she cried at 
length, and Ben, with a sou'wester on his head, a thick 
flushing coat on his back, and his legs encased in high 
boots, made his appearance. 

The Smugglers Cottage. 6'^ 

"All right, Susan!" he said, as he reached the cottage. 
" We've done the job neatly, and the goods are twenty 
miles inland by this time. We'd a famous night for it, 
couldn't have had a better, got the revenue men away on 
the wrong scent, and had the coast clear long enough to 
land a dozen cargoes. If we get such another night for 
the next run, we shall do well." 

" I am thankful," said poor Susan, who thought more 
of her husband's safety than probably of his share of the 
profits. " Now, come in ; here's a visitor you'll be glad 
to see." 

Ben put out his hand and shook Dick's, but before 
asking questions he kissed his children, who came jumping 

up round him. 

" Now, lef s have breakfast, for I am main hungry, and 

I dare say our friend here is," he exclaimed. " Have 

you taken my advice, and made up your mind for a 

trip on board the Nancy ? " he asked, turning to Dick. 

Dick replied in the affirmative, and described the visit 
Mr. Gooch had paid them the previous evening. 

" The sooner you get on board and out of his way the 
better, for they'll not think of looking for you there, and 
before to-morrow morning the Nancy will be away again 
across the Channel," said Een. Breakfast was just over, 
and Ben was smoking his pipe in front of his cottage 
door, when, looking to the southward, he exclaimed, 
" There she comes ; she is a beauty ! " and he pointed to 
a fine lugger, which, under all sail, having rounded Hurst 
Point, was standing towards Yarmouth. 

Ben having put up a few articles, led the way down to 
his boat, accompanied by Dick, and followed by his elder 

64 The Rival Crusoes. 

children, one carrying a boat-hook, another the oars, 
while he himself bore the boat's mast and sails on his 
broad shoulders. The children stood on the beach, 
watching them as they pulled away. , The breeze being 
favourable, Ben soon stepped the mast and hoisted the 
sail, when he came aft with the mainsheet, and told Dick 
to steer. 

" You should never lose the chance of learning to be 
handy in a boat," he observed; "you don't know when it 
may come in useful. You are very well as it is, but you 
are not like one born to it. Howsumdever, you'll pick up 
something on board the Nancy, and we shall have you 
turning out a prime seaman one of these days." 

Dick really steered very well, and Ben every now and 
then gave him an approving nod. Being perfectly 

familiar with the surrounding scenery, he scarcely noticed 
it, occupied as his thoughts were just then by the position 
in which he was placed. Away to the right were the 
white Needle rocks, their pointed heads standing high up 
out of the sea, with chalky cliffs rising high above them ; 
wide, smooth downs extending eastward; below which 
were cHffs of varied colour, with a succession of bays 
and rocky reefs; while ahead were the picturesque heights 
of Freshwater, covered by green trees, amid which several 
villas and cottages peeped out. Further east still, ap- 
peared the little seaport town of Yarmouth, with its old 
grey castle and grey stone houses, their gardens extending 
down to the water ; on the starboard quarter was Hurst 
beach, with its massive round castle and tall, red light- 
house ; while to the northward, extended a wood-covered 
shore, on which could be distinguished numerous 

Dick on Board the " Nancy!' 65 

residences, some of considerable size, and the town of 
L3nnington running up the side of a steep hill. 

Ben was proud of his boat, though to the outward eye 
there was nothing to admire, as the paint with which she 
had once been bedecked had been worn off, her sails 

were patched, and her rigging knotted in several places. 

"I look at what she can do !" he observed; '^and a 
better sea-boat or a faster is not to be found between 
Hurst and Spithead. It must blow a precious hard gale 
before I should be afraid to be out in her night or day." 

That she was fast was proved by the speed with which 
she ran across the Channel. In a short time she was 
alongside the lugger, which had brought up close in shore. 
her crew evidently fearless of the revenue men, two or 
three of whom stood watching her. 

All on board knew Ben, and gave him a hearty welcome. 
'' I have brought a fresh hand. Jack ! " he said, addressing 
the skipper in a familiar tone. " I have long promised him 
a trip, and as it happens, it is as well that he should keep 
out of the way of the big-wigs over there." Ben then 
briefly explained the danger Dick was in for threatening 
to shoot the son of the Marquis of Elverston. 

This announcement gained him a warm reception 
from the smugglers, who, engaged in lawless pursuits them- 
selves, were naturally inclined to approve of such an act, 
and would possibly have looked upon him with still 
greater respect had he fired as be had threatened. 

" Glad to see you, my lad," said John Dore, putting 
out his hand. " Make yourself at home on board the 
Nancy, We'll give you work when work has to be done, 
and now, if you're tired, you can turn into my berth 

66 The Rival Crusoes. 

and go to sleep till the evening, when, unless the wind 

shifts round to the southward, we shall be at sea again." 
" The best thing you can do," observed Ben. " I must 

go to Keyhaven to get a hand to take my boat back 

and look after her while I am away." 

Dick, wishing to escape the notice of any one who 

might visit the lugger from the shore, accepted the 

skipper's offer. As he had closed his eyes but a very 

short time during the previous night, he was soon fast 



Under way — Life on board the Naitcy — Off the French coast — 
Shipf»r.i? the contraband goods — Run for England — A strange 
saii -liie chase — Escape of the lugger — Landing the cargo — 
Revenue officers — Coolness of Dore — "Yield, in the king's 
name," — A httle too late — Dick questioned. 

HEN Dick awoke, he knew by the motion of the 
vessel and the sounds he heard that she was 
under way. The Na?7cy was a craft of 
nearly a hundred tons, decked all over, with three short, 
stout masts, the after one leaning over the taffrail, with a 
long out-rigger. On each of the masts a large lug was 
carried, and above them could be set flying topsails, and 
when before the wind studding-sails could be rigged out 
She could also hoist an enormous squaresail. To set 
these sails, she carried a numerous crew of tried seamen ; 
promptitude and decision being required m the dangerous 
work in which she was engaged. Her armament con- 
sisted of six short guns and a long nine-pounder, which 
could be trained either fore or aft, to bring to a merchant- 
man endeavouring to escape, or to knock away the spars 
of an enemy chasing her. Besides these guns, she had an 

68 The Rival Crusoes. 

ample supply of cutlasses, pistols, and boarding-pikes, to 
enable her crew to repel an attack made by boats or from 
a hostile craft which might run alongside her. She was 
truly an Arab of the seas, with every man's hand against 
her, and her hand against every man. The captain, by 
means best known to himself, had obtained a privateer's 
licence, and in that character he appeared when in 
English waters, though her real employment was more 
than suspected by the revenue officers, who were on the 
look-out to catch her. In this they had invariably failed, 

owing to the vigilance of her crew, and to the exact 
information they received from their agents on shore. 
Dick, turning out of the skipper's bunk, went on deck. 

He was greeted by Ben Rudall. " You are safe enough 
nov/, lad, from the constables who may be hunting for 
you through the country ; and glad I am to have you on 
board the Nancy» When we get back you must remain 
stowed away until we are at sea again, and in a short time 
they'll get tired of looking for you," 

" I hope they won't revenge themselves on my father," 
said Dick ; "that's what's troubling me now!" 

** No fear of that, for he is not answerable for what you 
do, any more than you are for his acts, and as he doesn't 
know where you are, he can't tell them." 

" I wish, however, that I could let mother and Janet 
know that I am all safe; they may be fretting for me," 
said Dick. 

" Never you fear, they'll guess that," said Ben, trying to 
set Dick's mind at ease on the subject "It doesn't do 

to think about home or anything of that sort when we are 

out on a cruise. Cheer up, lad! cheer up!" 

The ''Nancy'' at Sea, 69 

A fresh breeze was blowing from the north-west. The 
stars were shining brightly out of a clear sky, and the lugger, 
close hauled, was passing the Needle rocks, which could 
be dimly seen rising out of the dark water like huge 
giants on the lee beam, while astern were visible the 
Hghts on Hurst point now brought into one. The lugger 
having rounded the western end of the Isle of Wight, the 
helm was put up, the yards squared away, the flying top- 
sails and big squaresail set, and she stood across Channel, 
bounding lightly over the dancing seas. A craft with a 
fast pair of heels alone could have caught her. Her hardy 
crew remained on deck, for all hands might at any 
moment have been required for an emergency, either to 
shorten sail, or to alter her course, should a suspicious 
vessel appear in sight. All night long the lugger kept on 
her course, steering westward of south. 

** I say, Ben, how do the Frenchmen treat us if we go 
on shore, seeing that we and they are fighting each other ? " 
asked Dick. 

"Never you fear; we shan't go on shore, except it may 
be at night, in company with friends. You will soon see 
how we manage things," was the answer. 

The lugger made such good way, that when morning 
dawned, the coast of France was seen close aboard. No 
vessels of any description were in sight. As she got 
closer in, the French flag was hoisted, and other flags 
were got ready for making signals. Dick heard the 
skipper talking to three men whom he had not before 
ob:erved, and whom he now discovered to be Frenchmen. 
He asked Ben who they were. 

" One of them is to act as captain, the other two as his 

70 The Rival Crusoes. 

mates. They will go on shore and arrange about getting 
our cargo shipped. They won't take long, as it will be all 
ready. If we have another favourable night, we may run 
it, and it will be up in London before a week is over." 
A bright look-out was kept in every direction. As no 

suspicious sail appeared, the Nancy stood on. The signal 
which she made was answered from the shore. 

"All right," said Ben; "no fear of interruption for 

the present." 

The topsails were lowered, and under the foresail and 
mizzen she glided on into a small harbour between rocks 
of sufficient height to hide her short masts from the view 
of any craft passing outside. The crew of the Nanc} 
appeared on deck, dressed as much as possible like 
French seamen, while they wisely kept their tongues 
quiet, so that their true character might not be suspected. 

The two Frenchmen went on shore, while the third 
remained on board to answer any questions which might 
be put to them. Dick observed that the lugger lay in 
such a position that she could easily slip out again, 
should danger threaten. The crew seemed perfectly at 
their ease, laughing and talking when below, as if their 
situation was one to which they were well accustomed. 

The day passed away; still no cargo was forthcoming, 

nor did the Frenchmen re-appear. This made Dick 
fear that the authorities might have discovered the true 
character of the Nancy, and in spite of their precautions 
the smugglers might be taken in a trap. He did not, 
however, express his apprehensions, and neither Ben nor 
any of the men appeared troubled on the subject. At 
night the crew lay down on the deck with their pistols in 

The Cargo on Board. 7\ 

their belts, and their cutlasses and boarding-pikes by 
their sides, each man at his station so that the cable 
might be cut and the sails hoisted at a moment's notice. 
It showed Dick that his fears were not altogether without 
fiome foundation. Nothing, however, occurred during 
the night, and the following day passed away much as 
the first had done. 

Dore, however, grew impatient, and a boat was sent 
to watch outside the harbour in case any enemy might 
be stealing along the coast to prevent the Najicy's escape. 
At length, some time after it grew dark, a boat came 
off from the shore, bringing the two Frenchmen, who 
reported that the cargo was ready and would shortly be 
on board. All hands stood prepared for hoisting it in. 
Several boats were quickly alongside, and with wonderful 
rapidity bales of silks, laces, and ribbons, and kegs of 
spirits and tobacco were transferred to the Nancfs hold. 
As soon as they were stowed away, the anchor was got 
up, and the boats going ahead towed her out of the 
harbour, the Frenchmen wishing her " Bon voyage^'' and 
a speedy return. 

Dick breathed more freely when the sails -were set, 
and the Nancy gliding swiftly over the smooth water, 
the dark outline of the French coast grew more and more 
indistinct. " How soon shall we get back to England ? " 
he asked ol Ben, by ^vhose side he naturally kept when 
on deck. 

" That depends on what may happen," answered Een. 
" We shall have to wait for a dark night, and to take 
care that the coast is clear before we run in. It may be 
to-morrow, or it may be a week hence. We have done 

72 The Rival Crusoes. 

very well as yet, but there's many a slfp between th«. 
cup and the lip, as I have found to my cost more than 

Dick had to rest satisfied with this answer. There 
were plenty of people on board ready to talk to him, but 
their conversation was not of an improving character. 
Their chief delight seemed to be to abuse the royal navy 
as well as the revenue laws, and those engaged in pre- 
venting their infringement. Dick was not accustomed 
to look too deep into matters, and thought that what 
they said was very right. It did not occur to him that 
the same men would greatly have objected to free trade, 
which would completely have deprived them of their 
present illegal way of gaining a livelihood ; and though 
there might have been some truth in what they said 

about the nav}% they were wrong in the sweeping con- 
demnation they pronounced against the service. There 
were some abuses still existing, but many had been re- 
moved ; and there wtit not a few commanders of king's 
ships who did their best to advance the welfare of their 
crews, and were at all times kind and considerate to 
those placed under them, as had been sho^vn by numer- 
ous instances of devotion on the part of the men to their 
officers. The remarks of his associates, however, gave 
Dick an unmitigated horror of the navy, while he learned 
to look upon smugglers as a much-injured body of men, 
who were unjustly interfered with while engaged in en- 
deavouring to gain their daily bread. At length, growing 
sleepy, he was glad to go below and lie down on one 
of the lockers in the little after cabin. 

Next morning the lugger lay becalmed "WTiile the 

The Lugger becalmed. 73 

breeze lasted, the smugglers had been in good humour, 
but as the watch below turned out, they swore and 
grumbled at finding their craft lying idle on the smooth 
surface of the ocean. No sail was in sight, and as long 
as the calm continued they could not come to harm ; but 
an enemy might bring down a breeze which w^ould enable 
her to get close up to them before their sails were fCiit^. 
This was what they dreaded. All their seamanship and 
courage would not avail if she was a vessel too powerful 

for them to cope with. 

Hour after hour passed away, and still the Nancy lay 
floating idly, and carried down Channel by the ebb tide, 
and swept up again by the flood. An anxious look-out 
was kept for signs of a coming breeze. Evening was 
approaching. From whatever quarter the wind might 
come, it might bring up an enemy. English or French 
were equally to be dreaded. The skipper paced the 
deck, making short turns, telescope in hand, every now 
and then sweeping the horizon with it, and casting an eye 
on the dog-vanes which hung unmoved by a breath of air. 
At last he kept his glass longer than usual turned to the 


" There's no doubt about it ! " he exclaimed. " Those 
are the royals of a big ship of some sort ; she's got a fresh 
breeze, too, or we shouldn't have risen them so fast 
above the horizon." 

Dick could orHY^QiQ a white spot on which the sunwa 
shining, but it appeared to be increasing in size and grow- 
ing higher and higher. The gaze of most of those on 

board were turned towards her. That she was either an 
English or a French cruiser was the general opinion. Some 


74 The Rival Crusoe s. 

thought that she was a frigate, others a corvette ; for no 
merchantman, at that period, would have come down 
Channel alone. One thing was certain, that she was 
steering directly for the lugger. 


" What chance have we of escapuig her?" asked Dick 
of Ben. 

" Many a chance, lad," answered his friend. " If she's 
English she may not send a boat on board to examine 
us, and we shall pass for a privateer, or we may get the 
breeze in time to slip out of her way to the northward, or 
to keep ahead of her and give her the go-by during the 
night. If she's French, -sve must put the Frenchman in 
command, show our French papers, and bamboozle the 
mounseers, or if the worst comes to the worst, tumble the 
crew of their boat overboard and try to get away." 

" But suppose they fire into us ? *' said Dick, who 
though often thoughtless was alive to the true state of the 

" We must run the chance of that, my lad," answered 
Ben, " though my idea is that yonder craft is an English 
corvette,' and although she may be a pretty fast sailer, 
when once the Nancy gets the breeze, we shall show her 
a clean pair of heels." 

Dick sincerely hoped that such would be the case. He 
had not reckoned on the chance of being captured as a 
smuggler, or made prisoner by the enemy, or shot by 
either the one or the other. The crew were at their 
stations, ready to trim sails the moment the slightest 
breath of air should reach them. The topsails had before 
been set. The squaresail and studding-sails were got 
up ready to hoist at an instant's notice. Still the lugger 

The " Na7tcy " chased, 75 

lay motionless, and the corvette, for such she was pro- 
nounced to be, came rapidly on, under every stitch of 
canvas she could carry. She was soon within a mile of 
the lugger, when some cat's paws were seen playing over 
the water; the dog-vanes blew out and then dropped, 
the canvas flapped lightly against the masts. The skip- 
per swore, and the crew swore, until once more they saw 
the sails bulging out slightly. 

" Hurrah ! here it comes at last ! We'll keep out of that 
fellow's way," cried Captain Dore, eyeing the stranger. 
The lugger began gathering way. " Port the helm, Tom. 

We'll stand to the northward, and shall soon see whether 
he wishes to speak us. If he does, we'll take leave to 
disappoint him." 

The yards were braced up on the starboard tack, and 
the lugger stood on the course proposed, so that the cor- 
vette, should she continue on as she was now steering, 
would pass astern. Dore kept his eye fixed on her. 

" She's a fancy to know more about us," he remarked, 
as he observed the stranger also keeping up to the north- 
ward. " Her shot can't reach us yet, and we shall soon 
see, now we have got the breeze, which is the faster 
craft of the two." 

As Dick looked over the starboard quarter, he saw the 
sails and dark hull of the corvette, lighted up by the rays 
of the setting sun, making her appear so much nearer 

than she really was, that he wondered she did not fire a 

shot to make the lugger heave to. He had no cowardly 

fears on the subject, but he again thought that he should 

have acted more wisely had he stowed himself away safely 

on shore, instead of coming on board the lugger. The 


76 The Rival Crusoes, 

corvette looked so powerful, that it seemed to him that a 
single broadside from her guns, would send the Nancy 
with all on board to the bottom. He observed, however, 

that Dore walked the deck with as calm an air as usual, 
all the time, however, narrowly eyeing the king's ship, 
ready to take advantage of any change which might 

" We shall have darkness down upon us soon, and then 
we will show yonder fellow a trick or two. He wants to 
jam us up against the English coast; but we are not to be 
so caught," he observed to his mate, Ned Langdon. 

The breeze had freshened considerably, and was now 
blowing so strong, that the lugger could, on a wind, with 
difficulty carry her topsails, which were still set. The cor- 
vette had handed her royals, presently she took in her top- 
gallant sails. She had lately been gaining on the lugger. 
Dick, with the rest of his companions, seldom had his 
eyes off her ; the darkness was increasing, and her outline 
was becoming less and less distinct. Presently he saw 
a bright flash dart from her bows, and the roar of a guri 
reached his ears. The shot, however, had fallen short. 

The smugglers laughed. 

"You may blaze away, but you won't do us much 
harm!" observed Dore. 

Another and another shot followed. The commander 
of the cruiser evidently wished to make the lugger 
heave to. If he had before had doubts of her character, 
he must now have been thoroughly satisfied as to what 
she was, and would become more eager to capture her, 

" Stand by, my lads, to make sail !" cried Dore. "Keep 
up the helmj Tom, and hoist away on the squaresail !" 

The Smuggler's Trick, 77 

The lugger was put before the wind, running consider^ 
ably faster than she had hitherto been doing through the 
water. The corvette must have observed her change of 
course, as she also kept away, and once more her top- 
gallant sails were loosed. It was too dark to observe 
how the masts stood the pressure. 

" I only wish that they would set the royals ; v/ith this 
breeze there would be a good chance of the spars being 
carried away," said Dore. 

It was very doubtful whether the corvette was gaining 
on the lugger. Though the advancing night gradually 
shrouded her more and more in gloom, she could still be 
discerned, her canvas rising up like a dark phantom 
stalking over the ocean. The crew of the lugger stood 
at their stations, ready at a moment to obey their 

captain's orders. He kept his eye on the topsails, 
though if blown away the accident would not be of much 
consequence. The masts were tough, and bent like willow 

" They'll hold on as long as we want them now," 
observed Dore. Again and again he looked astern. 
Presently he shouted, "Lower the topsails ! Starboard 
the helm, Tom ! Haul away at the starboard braces ! " 
and the lugger, on the port tack, stood close hauled to 
the southward. 

The sharpest eyes on board were turned in the direc- 
tion their pursuer was supposed to be. Some time passed 

*' There she is ! " cried Ben. " Although we see her, she 
doesn't see us, as we are stern on, and much lower in 
the water than she is." 

"^S The Rival Crusoes. 

Dick looked with all his might. He could just discern 
some object moving along over the water, but so indis- 
tinctly that he could not be certain it was a ship. Still, the 
commander of the corvette might suspect that the lugger 
had changed her course, and changed his also. 

" All right ! " cried Dore, after watching the phantom- 
like stranger in the distance, until she totally disappeared. 
"She'll not catch us this cruise." 

The lugger was put about, on the starboard tack, and 
oncQ more stood towards the English coast 

"Shall we be in to-morrow morning ? " asked Dick. 

" No, no," answered Ben. ''Whatever happens, we shall 
make the coast at night, when the revenue men can't see 
us. We have friends on the look-out, who will make 
signals to show us when and where to run in. The 

weather is too fine at present, so that we shall have to 
dodge about and wait for a dark night, with thick rain or 
fog ; but we don't much trust fogs, they may lift suddenly 
and show our whereabouts to those we do not want to 
see us. However, we must run some risks. We want to 
land our goods in quiet, but if any one interferes with us, 
we of course must fight to defend our property. All 
right and square, you will understand, but if there's blood' 
shed, it is the fault of those who wish to take it from us," 

Dick did not ask himself whether Ben was right or 
wrong. He forgot that one party were breaking the laws, 
the other performing their duty in protecting them. 

Next morning, when Dick came on deck, he found the 
lugger hove to, with the blue line of the English coast to 
the northward. Though the shore could be seen, the vessel 
herself was too far off to be discerned from thence. Most 

Wailing to run the Cargo, 79 

of the crew were below, but the watch on deck, vigilant 
as ever, were turning their eyes in every direction, so that, 
should a suspicious sail appear, they might at once shape 
a course which would enable them to avoid her. Dick, 
who had been accustomed to an active life, began to grow 
weary at having nothing to do. He walked the deck 
with his hands in his pockets, talking to the men, or he 
sat below listening to their yarns, which were generally 
not of a very edifying character. 

The greater number of the crew passed their time, 
either sleeping or playing at cards or dice. Sometimes, 
for a change they turned to and cleaned their muskets 
and pistols, or burnished up their cutlasses. It v/as a relief 
when a stranger appeared whom it was thought better 
to avoid. The lugger making sail stood to the southward. 
She returned to her former position, however, as soon as 
the suspicious craft had passed. This occurred twice 
during the day. At night she stood close in to the coast, 
to look out for signals, but none were seen, and before 
the morning she again took up her former position at a 
sufficient distance to be invisible from the shore. 

For several days the same sort of proceeding took place. 
Two or three times she made all saiJ, it being supposed that 
she was chased, and once she had a narrow escape from 
a French cruiser, who probably took her for an English 
privateer. The wind continued moderate, and the sky 
clear, and Dore began to swear and to wish for some real 
honest Channel weather. At last the wind shifted, first 
to the southward and afterwards to the south-v/est, from 
which direction a thick bank of mist was seen coming up, 
and the lugger, directly she was shrouded by it, made sail 

8o The Rival Crusoes. 

for the English coast. Although there was no fear ol 
her being seen from any distance, she still ran the risk ot 
falling into the lion's jaws, to avoid which a sharp look- 
out was kept, and all hands stood ready to trim sails in 

case it should be necessary. 

The night was coming on, and it was soon dark enough 
to suit their requirements. She now frequently hove to, 
to sound as well as to watch for any signal from the shore. 
At length a light was seen, faint and dim through the 
mist, another was shown a short distance from it, and 
then a third appeared, when all three in an instant disap- 
peared. The lugger stood on, sail was shortened, and 
the anchor dropped. Scarcely had she brought up when 
half a dozen boats dashed alongside. 

** Be smart, my lads 1" cried Dore. "If we are quick 
about it, we may run the whole of the cargo before the 
revenue men are down upon us." 

Not another word was spoken ; every one knew exactly 
what he had to do. The lugger's crew hoisted out the 
bales and kegs, and the men who had come off stowed 
them away in the boats. The lugger's own boat was not 
idle. Having loaded her, Ben and Dick, with three 
other men, jumped in and pushed for the shore. The 
surf was pretty heavy, but without accident they reached 
the beach, where a large party of people were collected, 
with a number of pack horses and carts. The boats 
were at once surrounded, and their cargoes quickly taken 
out of them and placed either in the carts or on the 
backs of the horses. The work was carried on with 
the greatest rapidity, and by the time Dick and his 
companions had launched their boat, the whole had 

The Lugger boarded, 8i 

begun to move off, and before the lugger was reached, 
not a single person was to be seen on the beach. 

On their return to the Nancy, the boat was hoisted in 

and preparations began for making sail. The operation 
required care, for should she cast the wrong way, she 

might drive on shore. The skipper himself took the 
helm. The hands went to their stations. The instant 

the anchor was away the sails were sheeted home, and 

the lugger, casting, as desired, to port, stood off from the 

dangerous coast, close-hauled. She had not got many 

cable lengths from the beach when two boats dashed 

alongside. A number of armed men sprang on board. 

*' We've caught you, my fine fellows," exclaimed an 
officer. "Yield, in the king's name !" 

" Happy to see you, gentlemen," answered Dore, with 
the greatest coolness. " You are welcome to look over 
our craft, and if you find anything contraband on board 

for that I suppose is what you are after — well yield 
fast enough." 

The officer was evidently nonplussed, but he was still 
not inclined to take the smuggler's word. He allowed 
the lugger, however, to stand further out, until she could 
heave to with safety, when he ordered the foresail to 
be backed. He, with several of his men, then went 
below, Dore ordering Dick and another lad to carry a 
couple of lanterns, that the officer might see his way. 
The search, as Dore. well knew would be the case, re- 
vealed nothing on which the revenue could lay hands— 
not a bale nor keg of spirits, nor even a few pounds of 

" Circumstances certainly were suspicious. You have 

8i TIu Rival Crusoe^, 

cleaned her out completely," said the officer, turning to 
Dick, and as he did so eyeing him narrowly. " Where 
was the cargo run ? " 

Dick was very nearly replying, " Not long ago/* and 
thus confessing that the cargo had been run, but re- 
collecting in time that the smugglers might object to such 
an answer, he said 

" I am merely a passenger on board, sir, and it is not 
my business to answer questions." 

" What's your name, my lad ?" asked the officer. 

Dick was on the point of replying, when Ben, who 
had heard the question, stepped up. " It is your business, 
Mr. Lieutenant, to overhaul this craft and see that there 
are no smuggled goods on board, and when that business 
is over you have nothing more to do. That youngster's 

name may be Jack Robinson, or it may be Tom Jones, 
but whatever it may be is no business of yours." 

The officer put several questions to others of the crew, 
but neither from them nor from the captain could he 
elicit any of the information he required. They were 
perfectly civil to him, and offered not the slightest op- 
position to his going through every part of the vessel, 
and joked with the boats* crews, several recognizing old 
shipmates. They shook hands, patted each other on 
the back, and appeared on the most friendly terms. 
Yet the case would have been very different had the 
Nancy's cargo been on board. There would then have 
been a death struggle, the one to defend, the other to 
take possession of the craft, and they would have fought 
until one or the other had been defeated. 

" Well, Captain Dore," said the lieutenant, " you have 

Dick recognized. 83 

been too smart for us this time, but we intend to catch 
you some day or other." 

" Maybe the Nancy will be sunk by an enemy's cruiser 
before then. You seem to have an idea, lieutenant, that 
we are smugglers. I didn't think fit to gainsay you 
before, but if youll step back into my cabin Til show you 
my privateer's licence, which will prove to you that we 
are engaged lawfully, making war against the French 
trade," answered Dore. 

" Well, well, whichever you are, I won't longer detain 
you; but before I go I wish to have a word with the 
youngster I saw on board, the son of a respectable 

farmer living out Milford way." 

" We detain no one on board against his will, except 
he has signed articles. If the lad is the person you 
suppose, and is willing to go, go he may, provided you 
can promise that no harm can come to him." 

*' I wish to prevent him getting into harm," said the 
lieutenant, and he sent one of his men to find Dick, who 
was soon afterwards brought aft. 

Dick was in two minds about going. When the 
lieutenant told him of the anxiety of his father and 
mother, he was on the point of accepting the offer. Just 
at that moment Ben stepped up. 

" You'd better not," he whispered, " for the officer may 
mean you well, but remember there are others who want 
to get you into their power, and you will repent it." 

"Thank you, sir," said Dick. *' I have come on board 
this vessel of my 0"\vn free will, and would rather stay 
where I am. If you will sec father and mother, and tell 
them I am all right, I will be obliged to you." 

84 The Rival Crusoes. 

" You see, sir, that the lad doesn't want to go, and as 
you have found nothing on board to enable you to detain 
this vessel, I must beg you to let us make sail, for we 
are drifting in shore closer than is safe." 

Again the lieutenant appealed to Dick. Dore, how- 
ever, suspected that if the lieutenant got him into his 
power he might induce him to come forward to prove 
that the Nancy was engaged in smuggling, and that he 
should then be deprived of his privateer's licence, so, 
giving a hint to his men, they surrounded Dick and 
carried him forward. 

As the lieutenant had performed his duty, he ordered 
his men into the boats and they pulled away for the shore, 
while the Nancy stood out to sea. 


At the hall — Refusal of Lord Reginald's gift — Lady Elverston and 
her daughters — Troubles of the farmer's wife — Preparations for 
rejoining the Wolf- — Lieutenant Hilton — Information received 
of an intended landing — Lord Reginald and Voules join the 
revenue party — Fight with the smugglers — Success of the king's 
party — An encounter between the young lord and Richard Har- 
grave — Dick*s defence — Lord Reginald hurt — Escape of the 
farmer's son — Unfavourable opinion of Dick at the hall — The 
marquis and Voules — The midshipmen rejoin the Wolf 

ORD REGINALD and his messmate greatly 
enjoyed their stay at Elverston Hall Parties 
of all sorts were got up for their amusement, 
and guests were invited to meet them — Voules taking 
good care to sing the praises of his friend. 

He employed his time, much to his own satisfaction, 
in paying court to Lady Elverston, and endeavouring 
guardedly to win his way into the good graces of the 
younger ladies. They were always ready to listen to 
him while he was talking of their brother, whose faults 
they either had not discovered, or were willing to over- 
look. To them, at all events, he was always affectionate 
and courteous^ whatever he might be to others. 

86 The Rival Crusoes, 

The rest of the household were not altogether so well 
satisfied with his dictatorial, overbearing manners, though 
they acknowledged that he might be a very brave officer, 
who would some day prove an ornament to his pro- 
fession ; but the wish was general, if not expressed, that 
he would soon go off again to sea. 

Though still feeling angry with Dick for the imper- 
tinent and bold way in which he had spoken to him, 
he did not forget his promise to replace the dog he had 
shot; and as soon as he could find a suitable animal 
he despatched it by a groom to Farmer Hargrave's 
daughter, sending, at the same time, a note expressing 
his regret at the accident. It arrived just as Mn Gooch 
had left the cottage, and the interview the farmer had 
had with the bailiff had not been calculated to soothe his 
feelings. Mr. Gooch had again threatened him with 
legal proceedings, and had accused him of sending his 
son out of the way to avoid the consequences of his 
misdeeds. Farmer Hargrave, of course, denied this, 
asserting that he did not know where his son was. 

He was standing at the door when the groom, leading 
the dog, arrived, and delivered his message from Lord 

" Tell my lord that my daughter doesn't require a 
dog. None can replace the poor brute that was killed, 
of which she was very fond. So I beg you*ll take it 
back, and say I am much obliged to him for his in- 
tentions," he said, 

" I don't think my lord will be well pleased to hear 
this, Farmer Hargrave," answered the man. "He thought 
he was doing your daughter a great honour in sending 

The Young Lord's Present refused. 87 

her a dog, but he didn't do it on account of your son, 

IVe a fancy." 

" The very reason why I refused to receive the 
animal," answered the farmer. ** I have nothing more 
to say; and the least said the soonest mended." 

" Am I to take this message, then ? " asked the groom. 

" Yes ; I have no other to send. Good day to you," 
said the farmer, turning round as if about to enter his 


The man led off the dog, observing to himself, " The 
young lord will be in a pretty way when he hears this ; 
it won't be the better for the farmer or Master Dick. 
That young fellow will get into more trouble if he doesn't 
mend his manners." 

Lord Reginald, who had just returned with Voules 

from a ride, was standing in front of the house when the 
groom appeared, leading the dog. 

" I thought I ordered you to take that dog to Farmer 
Hargrave?" exclaimed the midshipman. 

" So I did, my lord, but Farmer Hargrave won't have 
him, and says he doesn't want any gifts from your lord- 

"Impudent fellow!" obser\^ed Voules. "The father 

must be as great a barbarian as that precious son of his." 
" Did you give him my message properly?" asked Lord 


" Yes, my lord, word for word, and I advised Farmer 

Hargrave to take the dog, but he would not on any 


" Then his daughter must go without the animal. I 

sent it to her, not to him," said Lord Reginald, turning 

88 The Rival Crusoes, 

to Voules. "This sort of thing is really provoking; 
the people about here are next door to savages. I was 
rather inclined to pity the old Hargraves on account 
of their blind daughter, but I shall persuade my father 
to do as Gooch advises. His house and barns are a 
great eyesore from the dining-room windows, and we 
shall be able to add several acres to the park if he could 

be removed." 

"Whether he is right or no, he ought, for the sake 
of pleasing the marquis, to be ready to give up his farm," 
said Voules, " and if he won't do so of his own accord, 
he should be compelled. I have no idea of the com- 
monalty venturing to set themselves up against the 

aristocracy in the way they have done since the French 

Lord Reginald had been induced by a right motive 
to send the dog, and the refusal of the farmer to receive 
it again raised his angry feelings against Dick. " If I 
come across the young fellow, I'll punish him for his 
own and his father's impertinence !" he exclaimed. 

The incident, slight as it may appear, prevented him 
for some days enjoying, as he might otherwise have done, 
the pleasures of home. Lady Elverston had fulfilled her 
promise of speaking to the marquis. 

" I would not, of course, act unjustly towards Har- 
grave," he answered ; " but Gooch, who has consulted 
the lawyer, tells me that I have a perfect right to turn 
him out; besides which I have offered him an ample sum 
to go, but he has refused to receive the compensation, 
and insists on standing up for what he calls his rights, 
I, of course, cannot be thwarted by a man at my own 

Lady Elvcrston visits the Farm, 89 

gates, and have given authority to Gooch to proceed as 
he thinks necessary for my interests." 

" But we consider the farm-house, the stacks, and the 
buildings, picturesque objects in the distance, and we 
could not desire to have near us more respectable, worthy 
people than the Hargraves," urged I.ady Elverston. 

" He is an obstinate fellow, and a Republican at heart, 
and will to a certainty vote against our son, should John 
stand for the next Parliament," answered the marquis. 
However, I promise you I will act with perfect justice ; 
but you could not wish me to submit to the insolence of 
a fellow of his description." 

Poor Lady Elverston, though not convinced that her 
husband was right, was unable to say anything more. 
She saw that he had been strongly biased against the 
farmer, and she was naturally displeased with the way his 
son had behaved to Lord Reginald. Her compassionate 
feelings for Janet, however, were not altered. In the 
afternoon, accompanied by Lady Julia, she took a drive 
in her pony carriage. In passing Farmer Hargrave's 
house she stopped to see Janet, wishing also to ascer- 
tain the reason for the objection Mr. Hargrave had to 
giving up his farm, and hoping to induce him to yield 
with a good grace to the Avishes of the marquis. 

The ladies found Janet and her mother seated in the 
parlour. A smile played over the countenance of the 
blind girl when she heard the voice of the marchioness. 

"Very kind, my lady, very kind in you to come and 
see us, and mother wants so much to talk to your lady- 
ship about the matter of the farm," she said, after the 
ordinary inquiries had been made and answered. 

90 The Rival Crusoes, 

Lady Elverston was glad of this opportunity of entering 
on the subject, and she begged to hear what Mrs. Har- 

grave had to say. 

" My husband, my lady, doesn^t desire to oppose the 
wishes of the marquis, but as every Englishman should 
as your ladyship will agree — he stands on his rights, and 
as he has a long lease of this property, which his fathers 
for many generations held before him, he refuses to be 
compelled to give it up. You see, my lady, Mr. Gooch 
has been here and threatened that the law will force 
him if he refuses, and when my good man told him that 
the law could not compel him, the bailiff said that he 
would bring up our son Richard before the justices for 
threatening to shoot Lord Reginald, which I cannot 
believe he ever did, even though he was vexed at his 
lordship killing his dog. My husband, my lady, is a 
determined man, and neither I nor any one else can 
induce him to change his mind if he thinks he is doing 

what is right." 

*'I certainly would not ask him to do what he thinks 
is wrong," said Lady Elverston, "and I am quite sure 
that the marquis did not give authority to Mr. Gooch to 
use any threats. Lord Elverston told me this morning 
that he was willing to offer any reasonable compensation 
to your husband for quitting the farm, and he would 
probably give him ample time to find another equally 


" I was sure, my lady, that the marquis would not have 
allowed the bailiff to make use of the threats he did ; 
and if you will speak again to his lordship and induce 
him to make a fair offer to my husband, though it would 

The Kindness of the Marchioness. 91 

well-nigh break our hearts to move, I will try and get 
him to accept it." 

Lady Elverston, who suspected that the marquis had 
been deceived by Mr. Gooch, promised again to speak to 
him ; though well aware that he was as obstinate as the 
farmer, she did not say that she was certain of success. 
Lady Julia in the mean time was talking in her gentle 
way to Janet, and promised to call for her the first sunny 
day to take her out for a drive in the pony-carriage. 
Her ladyship then inquired for Dick, and expressed a 
hope that he would harbour no ill feelings towards her 

" I pray that he won^t, my lady ; he has ever been a 
good and faithful son to us, though somewhat headstrong 
at times, but he has not a revengeful spirit, and I am 
sure he would not wish to harm Lord Reginald. We 
are in sad trouble about him, for Mr. Gooch frightened 
him so by his threats, that he has gone away, we don't 
know where." 

" Have you no clue to his hiding-place ? " asked Lady 
Elverston. "I should much like to have some conver- 
sation with him, and I trust that I might soften any 
lingering ill feeling — should such exist in his breast 
towards my son." 

" I shall never forget your kindness, whatever happens, 
my lady," said Mrs. Hargrave. 

After some further conversation, the marchioness took 
her departure, accompanied by Lady Julia, still, however, 
in considerable doubt whether she had done much to 
settle the vexed question. 

The time of the two midshipmen's stay at Elverston 

92 The Rival Crusoes, 

Hall was drawing to a close. Voules had received a 
letter from a messmate, saying that the Wolf was nearly 
ready for sea. He flattered himself that he had not let 
the grass grow under his feet ; that he had established 
himself in the good graces of Lord and Lady Elverston ; 
and he had even the vanity to suppose that he had made 
some progress in those of Lady Julia. He was gentle- 
manly in his manners, and Lord Reginald always spoke 
of him as " a capital fellow," and seemed to regard him 
with affection. 

Lord Reginald himself, accustomed to an active life, 
was, however, beginning to grow somewhat tired of his 
stay on shore; though attached to his family, he was 
perfectly ready to go back to his ship. He had experi- 
enced, indeed, lately some difficulty in finding amusement 
for himself and companion. He and Voules had made 
the acquaintance of the lieutenant of the neighbouring 
coastguard station, who, having seen a great deal of 
service, and being a merry fellow, with a fund of anecdote, 
was an amusing companion. Lieutenant Hilton had 
several times been invited to dine at the hall, an honour 
he highly appreciated, although it cost him a long trudge 
there and back, over a somewhat wild region, with the 
risk of encountering some of the lawless characters of the 
neighbourhood, who looked upon him as their worst foe. 
He had one day been dining at the hall ; the gentlemen 
having indulged freely in the bottle, as was too common 
in those times, were about to join the ladies in the 
drawing-room, when a servant entered to inform Lieu- 
tenant Hilton that a person wished to see him imme- 
diately on important business. 

A Hazardous Expedition. 93 

" He has probably brought information that a run is to 
be made to-night, and if so, Hilton, we'll accompany 
you to see the fun," said Lord Reginald. " Don't go off 
without us, remember. We'll mount you, and we will 
ride together, with any one else who likes to come." 

Lieutenant Hilton hurried out to see the messenger. 
He returned to say that Lord Reginald was right in his 
conjectures, and that there was no time to be lost, as a 
suspicious lugger had been seen off the coast, and that as 
the night promised to be dark, there was no doubt she 
would try to run her cargo before the morning. 

The other gentlemen declined the proposed expedition, 
and Voules would gladly have remained behind, but he 
could not venture to allow Lord Reginald to go without 
him, especially as he himself had proposed assisting the 
revenue, should an opportunity occur. Very unwilhngly, 
therefore, he went to his room to prepare for the ride, 
instead of passing the evening, as he had hoped, in the 
society of Lady Julia. 

The marquis, although he would rather his son had 
not undertaken what might prove a hazardous expedi- 
tion, could not object, as he had expressed his resolution 

by every means in his power to put down the smugglers. 
The horses were soon ready, and the lieutenant and the 
two midshipmen, led by the mounted exciseman who 
had brought the information, set off by a road which 

would lead them to the westward of Milford. The excise 
officer informed the lieutenant that a messenger had 
been despatched to obtain the assistance of a party of 
dragoons stationed at Lymington, and that a small body 
of sea-fencibles, belonging to the district, were hurrying 

94 The Rival Crusoes, 

on towards the expected scene of action. With the aid 
of the lieutenant*s own men, a sufficient force would 
thus, it was hoped, be collected to seize the goods should 
they be landed, while the boats on the station were 
despatched to try and capture the lugger herself before 
she had completely discharged her cargo. The exact 
spot where it was intended the lugger should run her 
cargo was unknown, but it was supposed that it would 
be somewhere between Hurst and Christchurch. The 
cliffs here are of considerable height, rising above a 
narrow beach, and, continually crumbling away, exhibit 
numerous fossil remains. In some places they are broken 
by narrow gullies, which, sloping up gradually from the 
shore to the downs above, afford easy pathways up 
which both men and loaded animals can climb without 
much difficulty. 

Since information had first been received of the in- 
tended run from a treacherous confederate of the 
smugglers, preparations for their capture had been 
carried on with the greatest possible secrecy and rapidity. 
It was important to prevent the smugglers' associates on 

shore from discovering that the revenue men were 

Lieutenant Hilton having reached his station, sum- 
moned eight of his own men to accompany him. Here 
the midshipmen were provided with pistols and cutlasses. 

Their services were likely to be of use, as it was certain 
the smugglers would muster in large numbers. The 

horses were left at the station, while the lieutenant and 

his party proceeded to the spot where the sea-fencibles 

were posted, waiting for any information they might 

receive to guide their fnhire proceedings. 

The Smugglers outwitted. 95 

It was in a hollow, surrounded by trees and brush- 
wood, and about half a mile or so from the sea-shore. 
The night, as had been expected, was very dark, the 
wind a moderate breeze, blowing from the north-west 
Not a word was spoken above a whisper, for fear lest 
their position should be discovered by any passing as- 
sociates of the smugglers. The latter had given it out 
that the run was to be made on the other side of Christ- 
church head, and to induce them to suppose that this 
was believed, a party of revenue men had started off in 
that direction, taking care that their movements should 
be observed. It was hoped by this that the smugglers 
would be deceived, and would attempt the run at the 
spot named in the private information which had been 

" This is dull work !'' whispered Voules to Lord 
Reginald " I thought we should be up and doing long 

" Dull enough \ I vote we set off by ourselves, to try 
and find out what the smugglers are about," answered 
Lord Reginald, 

"I should recommend riding back to the hall, and 
letting our friends here follow their own devices," said 
Voules ; " but it would not do, now that we have once 
put ourselves under Hilton's command, to desert him." 

Their patience was to be further tried. At last, one 
of the scouts who had been set to watch the direction 
taken by those who were sure. to assist in the landing, 
came in with the intelligence that he had traced them 
midway between the hamlets of Barton and Ash, and 
that he had seen suspicious lights both on shore and at 

96 Tlie Rival Cr usees, 

sea. The latter were, it was guessed, shown 011 board 
the lugger, which was exchanging signals with the spots- 
men on shore, leaving little doubt as to where the goods 
would be run. As the distance to the spot was con- 
siderable, there was no time to be lost, for not only 
might the lugger's cargo be landed, but carried far away 
into the interior before the revenue men could get there. 
There was a danger, however, should they arrive too 
soon, of their being discovered by the smugglers, who 
would in that case put off to sea again and wait for a 
more favourable opportunity. 

The road followed by Lieutenant Hilton and his party 
led some distance from the shore. They proceeded as 
fast as they could move, forming a compact body, that 
they might run the less risk of being seen. The com- 
mander of the sea-fencibles arranged- the plan of pro- 
ceeding. He, with his men, would go to the westward, 
while the lieutenant was to attack the smugglers on the 
opposite side, and the excisemen were to guard the upper 
part of the hollow or gully which led down to the 
water, so as to catch any of the smugglers who might 
be making their way up it to escape. This plan was 
arranged as they went along. 

On reaching the neighbourhood of the spot, they 
halted, and scouts were sent out to ascertain if the 
smugglers had collected where they had been expected. 
In a short time the scouts returned, stating that a large 
body of men were on the beach, and one of them added 
that he had nearly been discovered by a party with pack 
animals proceeding down the gully which led to the 
same part of the shore. Lord Reginald was on the 

Attack on the Smugglers. 97 

point of exhibiting his satisfaction by giving a loud shout, 
when Voules stopped him. 

" On my lads !" said the lieutenant in a low voice ; and 
he led his men by a narrow path which wound down 
the cliff to the west of the village ol Barton, while the 
rest of the party, by a wide circuit, made their way to 

the opposite side. 

It was agreed that Lieutenant Hilton should fire off 
a couple of pistols in rapid succession, as the signal for 
attacking the smugglers, and that both parties were to 
rush on them simultaneously, while the men at the top 
of the gully should stop them from making their escape 
in that direction. 

Lord Reginald was eager for the attack, but Voules, 
as he made out the numbers in which the smugglers 
mustered, heartily wished that he had remained to enjoy 
the society of the ladies at the hall. 

" We are Ukely to get more kicks than ha'pence, and 
little honour, at all events," he muttered to himself. 

From where they lay concealed, they could observe 
the boats coming on shore with the lugger's cargo. The 
lieutenant watched until he considered that the larger 
portion had been landed. He directed Lord Reginald 
and Voules, with three men, to guard the foot of a path- 
way leading up the cliff, by which possibly some of the 
smugglers might attempt to make their escape. The 
outlaws had been carrying on their undertaking in perfect 
silence. Not a sound had been heard, when the report 
of the two pistols echoed among the cliffs. It was the 
signal for a general uproar. The revenue men dashed 
forward from both sides towards the party on the beach. 

98 The Rival Crusoes. 

who began shouting and swearing vehemently. Then 
came the flash of fireanns, and the clash of cutlasses. 
The smugglers fought desperately. Some were hurriedly 
loading the horses, hoping to escape with a portion of 
the goods by land, others were engaged in throwing 
the packages back into the boats, and endeavouring to 
shove off, and regain the lugger. The revenue officers, 
knowing that this would be attempted, rushed forward to 
prevent them. Here some of the hottest fighting took 
place. As they could not escape through the gully, no 
attempt was made to stop them from entering it. Before 
long, however, the smugglers discovered how they had 
been entrapped, when those who had gone off came 
running back with the disastrous intelligence. All 
attempts to save the goods were abandoned. Each man 
thought only how he could best make his escape. Some 
endeavoured to climb the cliffs, others rushed beneath 
them, to the westward. One party made a dash for the 
pathway guarded by Lord Reginald and Voules. So 
furious was their onslaught, that Voules was knocked over, 
and while their men had each an opponent, two other 
smugglers rushed past Lord Reginald, He fired, but 
whether his bullet took effect or not, he could not tell ; 
by the flash, however, he thought that he recognized the 
features of Dick Hargrave, whose companion, wresting 
the young lord's sword from his grasp, dashed on up the 
path, and both were soon lost to sight in the darkness. 
Lord Reginald made a vain attempt to follow the 
fugitives, but, unable to see his way, was glad to rejoin 
his companions. 

"I know the young rascal, and have now proof 

The " Nancy " captured, 99 

positive that he is a smuggler ! " he exclaimed. " Voules, 
did you see him ? *' 

But Voules, who had been lying on the sand where he 
had been thrown, some feet below, only just then began 
to recover. Several seconds elapsed before he was 
again able to take part in what was going forward. The 
other smugglers, who had tried to escape up the path, 
were secured. 

The fighting continued, however, for some time longer, 
till, one after the other, the smugglers were knocked down 
and captured, four being killed, and a large number 
wounded, while two of the revenue men lost their lives, 
and several others were severely hurt 

Dore, with the few people still remaining on board the 
lugger, waited in the hopes of the boats getting off, but 
when they knew by their not returning that their friends 
must have been taken, the cable was cut, and the Nancy 

stood out to sea. She had, however, proceeded but a 
short distance when two revenue boats dashed alongside, 
and her diminished crew, being unable to make any 
effectual resistance, she was captured, with the remainder 

of the contraband goods on board, more than sufficient 
to condemn her. 

Lieutenant Hilton was very well pleased with the result 
of the enterprise. Seldom had so large a capture been 
effected. He had, however, still a difficult task to per- 
form, as he had scarcely men sufficient to guard the 
prisoners, whose desperate character he knew full well, 
while he had the additional duty of conducting the pack- 

The smugglers at first appeared to submit quietly 

lOo The Rival Crusoes, 

enough, but that was no proof that they would con- 
tinue to do so, should they find an opportunity of 

As there were not more than three lanterns among the 
whole party, it was difficult to ascertain whether the 
prisoners were properly secured. At any moment, they 
might break loose and effect their escape. They had, 
indeed, every motive for doing so. They had not only 
been captured smuggling, but had weapons in their hands, 
opposing the king's authority, and one and all of them 
might be tried for the death of the two revenue men 
who had fallen. All who had been taken were now 
brought together and placed under the cliffs, watched by 
a strong guard, while the bales and kegs, which lay 
scattered about in all directions, were collected and 
packed on the horses. 

The order to march was given. The pack animals 
went first, followed by the captured smugglers, who 
uttered curses, deep if not loud, on their hard fate. Then 
came the men told off to carry the wounded who were 
too much hurt to walk. Lord Reginald and Voules 
brought up the rear. The killed were left above high 
water mark on the beach, until a party could be sent to 
carry them to Barton churchyard, where the revenue man 
and smuggler were destined to lie side by side. 

The party at length reached the top of the cliff, and 
directed their course towards the high road running be- 
tween Christchurch and Lymington. They had proceeded 
about a mile, when a number of armed men, springing 
out from behind the hedges on either side, suddenly 
attacked the conductors of the pack-horses, which they 

An Attempted Rescue frustrated. loi 

endeavoured to carry off. The prisoners, taking advan- 
tage of the confusion, attempted to escape, and there 
appeared every probability that some would succeed 

" Cut down the fellows, if they try to get off I " cried 
Voules, and the other officers repeated the order. 

At that moment the clattering sound oi horses' hoofs 
coming along the road was heard. A cry arose, " The 
dragoons are upon us ! " The men who had made the 
last daring attempt to recover the goods took to flight 
Two were captured by the soldiers, who went in pursuit, 
but the rest effected their escape. 

Mr. Hilton gladly handed over the prisoners to the 
charge of the military, while he accompanied Lord 
Reginald and Voules back to the station where they had 
left their horses. 

" I wish that you would remain here until the morn- 
ing," said the lieutenant, when they reached it. " There 

are a number of rough characters allied with the 
smugglers, who, should they fall in with you, may take it 
into their heads to revenge themselves by shooting 

you. " 


I am not afraid of them," answered the young lord. 
" Voules and I together are able to tackle a dozen such 
fellows. Thank you for your invitation, but our friends 
at the hall will be anxious to know what has happened, 
and I want to tell my father how admirably you have 
managed affairs." 

The lieutenant, finding that the midshipmen could not 
be induced to remain, ordered the horses to be brought 
out, and Lord Reginald, saying that he would the next 
morning send a groom for the animal the lieutenant had 

102 The Rival Crusoes, 

ridden, being well acquainted with the way, set off with 
Voules for the hall. 

" As there is no fear of our losing the road, even in the 
dark, we may as well take a short cut," he observed, after 
they had gone some distance. ** We shall save a mile or 
more, and have the advantage of turf. The moon, too, 
will soon be up, and we shall be able to gallop a good 
part of the distance." 

Voules had nothing to say against this proposal, though 
he would have preferred the high road. 

"This lane will lead us on to the heath, and as the 
sky is clear, there will be light enough, even before the 
moon rises, besides which our horses know the way as 

well as I do," said Lord Reginald. 
They rode down the lane at a more steady pace than 

they had hitherto been going, for it was full of ruts, and 
somewhat narrow and winding. It conducted them on 
to a wild heath, beyond which could be discerned the 
outskirts of the New Forest, the trees in some places pro- 
jecting over the heath like the advance guard of an army, 
while in others wild glades opened out extending far into 
the interior. Towards one of these glades Lord Reginald 
directed his course. 

" By keeping a little to the right it will lead us to the 
high road again," he observed. *' There's the moon just 
rising above the trees. We shall be able to push along 
now, without fear of rushing into a hedge." 

Crossing the heath by a tolerably well-defined footpath, 
they entered the forest, and were galloping along a grassy 
glade, on which their horses' hoofs produced scarcely a 
sound, when Lord Reginald uttered an exclamation of 

Encounter with Dick. 103 

" Halloa ! I see a fellow ahead Where can he be 
going ? " 

" Probably one of the smugglers, who managed to make 
his escape," answered Voules. 

" Whoever he is, we will stop him and ascertain why 
he is out at this time of night Stop, you fellow ! " cried 
Lord Reginald; *'we want to speak to you." 

The person, who apparently had not before heard them 
coming, only increased his pace; on seeing which the 

young lord spurred on his horse. 

The stranger, who might possibly have escaped by 
darting in among the trees, instead of making the attempt, 
finding that his pursuers were gaining on him, stopped 
and faced them, holding a thick stick, which might 
properly have been called a club, in his hand. 

"Throw down that bludgeon and come here," said 
Lord Reginald 

" Not while I am spoken to in that tone," answered the 
stranger. " I have as much right to be out in this forest 
as you have." 

" You must tell us who you are, and where you are 
going/' cried Lord Reginald, riding up to him. 

The stranger lifted up his club, exclaiming, " Hands 
off! If you attempt to touch me, you must take the 

Just then a gleam of light from the rising moon shone 
on the stranger's face. , 

" I know the rascal !" cried Lord Reginald; "ifs that 
young Hargrave. Not the first time we have met to- 
night. You are one of the fellows who made their escape 
from the excisemen ; but you are not going to do so from 

I04 The Rival Crusoes. 

us ; so yield at once ! Come, help me, Voules !" and the 
young lord, spurring forward his horse, attempted to seize 
Dick by the shoulder. 

The latter sprang back, and, whirling round his club, 
struck Lord Reginald a blow on the arm which effectually 
prevented him from using it, and before Voules could lay 
hold of him, Dick had rushed off among the trees, which 
quickly concealed him from view. 

In vain Lord Reginald, in spite of the pain he was 
suffering, urged his horse after him. The stems of the 
trees, growing thickly together, prevented him from follow- 
ing, and Dick was soon safe beyond the pursuit of the 

" This is provoking; but we will have him yet 1 " cried 
Lord Reginald. 

" I am afraid the villain has broken your arm ! " ex- 
claimed Voules. 

" It seems something like it from the pain I am suffer- 
ing," answered Lord Reginald ; " however, the sooner we 
can get home to have it looked to the better." 

" Yes, indeed," said Voules ; " I am deeply grieved. I 
would have shot the young savage had I thought he would 
have had the audacity to strike you." 

"No, no; I should have been sorry if the fellow had 
been killed," said Lord Reginald. "All I wanted was to 
take him prisoner, and send him off with the rest to sea, 
for I suppose that will be the lot of all who are fit to 
serve. However, as we are not likely to see more of him 
for the present, I shall be glad to get home. This arm 
of mine hurts me fearfully." 

They again put their horses into a gallop, and con- 

The Hall reached. 105 

tinued on until they reached the end of the glade, which 
led out on the high road. Lord Reginald bore the pain 
manfully; indeed, it was surprising that he did not faint 
and fall from his horse. The trotting along the road was 
even worse than the gallop, and at last he had to tell 
Voules to stop and walk. It was nearly two o'clock in 
the morning when they reached the hall. They found 
Lord and Lady Elverston, with Lord John, sitting up for 

" Most thankful to see you back," said Lord Elverston, 
who came out to meet them; "wfe were too anxious to 
go to bed. One of the grooms had brought word that 
there had been a desperate fight between the revenue 

men and the smugglers, and that there had been a 
number oi killed and wounded. Good Heavens I what is 
the matter ? You look very pale. Are you hurt ? " 

" Yes, but not in the fight," answered Reginald, as he 
entered the drawing-room and sank into a chair. He 
then described the encounter with Richard Hargrave. 

" The young ruffian must be punished," exclaimed the 
marquis, ^^li is evident that he is leagued with the 
smugglers, and this last outrage shows his desperate 
character. Do you feel much pain ? " 

" Very much ; indeed, I fear that my arm is broken," 
answered Lord Reginald. 

On hearing this Lady Elverston came to his side. 
" My dear boy, I trast not," she said ; " you must go to 
bed, and let Mrs. Cross and me examine your arm." 

" If it is broken we must send off for a surgeon imme- 
diately," said the marquis. 

" I would rather have some supper first. I dare say so 

io6 The Rival Crusoes. 

would Voules, for we both of us felt very hungry as we 
came along, and I hope after all, no bone is broken." 

The tray was at once brought up, and though Voules 
did ample justice to the viands it contained, Lord 
Reginald, after making several ineffectual attempts to 
eat, had to confess that the pain overpowered him, and 
he allowed himself to be led off to his room by his 
mother and brother. 

Mrs. Cross, the housekeeper, was soon in attendance, 
having evidently, by the way her dress was put on, with 
her night-cap on her head, just risen from her slumbers. 
The young lord was quickly undressed, when, on his arm 
being examined, Mrs. Cross declared it as her opinion 
that no bone was broken; and all that was required 
were fomentations and rest. 

" I am sorry to hear so bad a character of young Har- 
grave. His mother and blind sister are at all events 
good people, and it will grieve them sorely," observed 
Lady Elverston to her husband, who answered only with 
the significant exclamation of- 

" Humph ! Perhaps so." 

The pain was somewhat relieved by the fomentations 
applied by the housekeeper, who offered to sit up with 
the young lord ; and though he declared that he should 
do very well without assistance, he was glad at length to 
accept her offer. 

Voules came in just before going to bed, to express his 
deep concern. 

"I shall do very well in a day or two,'' said Lord 
Reginald, "and it won't prevent me from joining my 

The Doctors Favourable Report 107 

Notwithstanding his assertion, he was very feverish 
during the night, when he was constantly uttering ex- 
pressions which showed the animosity he felt against 
Dick Hargrave, complaining that he was the cause of the 
pain he was enduring. This was reported the next morn- 
ing by Mrs. Cross to the marchioness. 

" It is a shame, my lady, that so bad a lad should be 
allowed to be at large. I hope my lord will have him 
taken up and sent off to Botany Bay, or anywhere out of 
the way, for if he meets Lord Reginald again, I don't 
know what will come of it" 

Next morning the doctor, who had been sent for, arrived, 
and greatly relieved the minds oi Lord and Lady Elver- 
ston by assuring them that their son's arm was not broken. 

"No thanks to the young ruffian who inflicted the 
blow," observed the marquis j " we must have him appre- 
hended, for such an outrage must not be allowed to go 

The doctor directed Lord Reginald's arm to be 
fomented, and observed that he must carry it for a few 
days in a sling, assuring him that he need not fear any 
serious consequences. 

"Then it will not prevent him from joining his ship? " 

observed the marquis, who had his reasons for wishing 
that the midshipmen should not remain longer at Elver- 

" Not if he can perform his duty without going aloft^ 
or using his arm for the present," replied the doctor. 

Lord Elverston said he would write to the captain on 

the subject. 

" In that case his lordship may join his ship immedi- 

io8 The Rival Crusoes, 

ately," observed the doctor, who seemed to understand 
the marquis's wishes. 
Voules, who had been present during the discussion, 


was far from satisfied with the doctor's decision. He had 
hoped that the injury Lord Reginald had received would 
serve him as an excuse for remaining until the frigate was 
on the point of sailing, as he himself was in no hurry to 
leave Elverston Hall. 

The marquis, however, had observed his attentions to 
Lady Julia, and although he gave his daughter credit for 
discretion, he thought it was as well to send the young 
gentleman away. Having a pretty good knowledge of the 
world, he had taken the measure of Toady Voules more 
accurately than his son had done, and had seen through 
him. When Lord Reginald, faithful to his promise, had 
begged his father to use his influence at the Admiralty to 
get Voules promoted, the marquis replied that he should 
be happy to serve any friend of his, but for certain reasons 
he could make no promise, and that he must know more 
about the young gentleman before he could recommend 
him to their lordships. 

" But he is really a capital fellow," said Lord Reginald. 
*' He sticks like a leech to me, and I can always depend 
upon him." 

" Leeches suck blood," answered the marquis, laughing. 
" I don't think you have well considered the simile." 

" I mean that he is always ready at hand when I want 
him to do anything I require," answered Lord Reginald. 
" He is the most convenient fellow I ever met." 

" Well, well, I will remember yoxu: wishes," said the 

The Midshipmen leave Elver ston, 109 

Lord Reginald saw that he must not press the point 

further. Voules looked very melancholy at the thought 
of leaving Elverston. He was in an especially bad humour 
too, for though Lady Julia treated him as she had always 
done, he began to suspect that he had made no great way 
in her good graces. The utter indifference she showed 
when he talked of going away, convinced him of this, and 
although to the last the family treated him, as Lord 
Reginald's friend, with the utmost kindness, no one 
expressed the hope that they might soon again have the 
pleasure of seeing him. 

A couple of days having passed, the midshipmen were 
ready to obey the order to rejoin their ship. A Yarmouth 
pilot vessel having been engaged to convey them to 
Portsmouth, they set sail in her from Keyhaven. Taking 
a favourable tide, with a fair wind, they might easily get 
there in six hours, whereas the journey by land would 
have occupied nearly a couple of days. The crew of the 
pilot vessel, as they stepped on board, looked at the mid- 
shipmen askance, evidently having heard of the part they 
had taken in the capture of the smugglers, many of whom 
were their relatives and friends. The captain, however, 
treated them with the greatest civility, but took good 
care not to answer any questions they put to him con- 
cerning the smugglers, leaving them to suppose that he 
was ignorant of the existence of such persons, and was 
not even aware that there was any smuggling on that 

Of Dick Hargrave nothing had been heard, but a 
warrant had been taken out for his apprehension, and 

people were on the watch to capture him should he make 


The Rival Crusoes. 

his appearance, or should his place of concealment be 
discovered. A fresh breeze quickly carrying the cutter 
up to Portsmouth, Lord Reginald and Voules once more 
found themselves on board the Wolf, which had hauled 
away from the dockyard, ready to go out to Spithead. 


The second Inp of the Nancy — Particulars of the landing— IIow 
it fared with Dick and Ben — Wandering in the forest — In hiding 
— Nearly caught— Seized by a prcssgang — Kindness of the land- 
lady at the Admiral Benbow — Ben Rudall a prisoner — On board 
the tender— Off Cowes— Tlie Wolf-~%\x. Bitts, the boatswain- 
Dick recognizes Lord Reginald and Voules — An attempt to make 
an exchange. 

HEN Dick Hargrave sailed the second time 
on board the Nancy, he forgot the saying that 
" the pitcher which goes often to the well 
gets broken at last/' or that ftyi who follow a lawless 
occupation escape from suffering in the end. Of course, 
he should have been influenced by a far higher motive, 
but he had not been taught to look upon smuggling 
in the same light which an honest man does now-a- 
days. Even his father regarded it with a lenient eye, 
though he had ever refused to take a share in the pro- 
ceedings of the smugglers by permitting his horses to 
be used in transporting the goods when landed on the 
coast. Dick had a tolerably pleasant life on board the 
Nancy, as Dore and the crew always treated him kindly. 

112 TJie Rival Crusoes, 

The lugger, as before, ran into the quiet little harbour 
in which she was wont to take her goods on board, and 
had a narrow escape from a French cruiser; but had got 
free by the very common device , of lowering all her 
canvas during the night and allowing her pursuer to 
pass her. Without further cause for alarm, she made the 
English coast, Dick, though he liked the life well 
enough, had no wish to continue in it; he wanted to see 
his parents and Janet, and to relieve their anxiety about 
him. He had resolved, therefore, to quit the Nancy, 
and to go on shore with Ben, who did not intend to 
make the next trip in her. It was settled, therefore, 
that he and Ben were to pull in one of the boats en- 
gaged in landing the cargo, and that afterwards they 
»vere to assist in escorting the goods safe into the in- 
terior. After they had once got away from the coast, 
there was but little danger of their being captured. 

" All right," said Ben to Dick, as the lugger stood in 
to the westward of the Shingles; " the revenue men have 
been told that there is to be a run made this very night, 
Portland way, and they will all have gone off there and 
left the coast clear for us, so that there is no fear as to 
our getting the goods safe on shore." 

There seemed every probability that Ben's prognosti- 
cations would prove true. The night was dark, and the 
wind sufficiently off shore to enable the Nancy to stand 
close in. The expected signals were seen. The anchor 
was dropped, the boats lowered, and immediately after- 
wards, others came off from the shore, bringing the 
satisfactory intelligence that everything was clear for the 
run. The vessel was rapidly unloaded. The greater 

Dick and Ben escape, 113 

part of her cargo had been discharged, and was already 
on the beach, when the reports of Lieutenant Hilton's 
pistols were heard, and the smugglers found themselves 
beset on both sides by their enemies. Dick and Ben were 
already on shore, and were engaged in loading the pack- 

" You get out of it, Dick," said Ben, " either climb 

the cliff or run along the beach ; you've nothing to fight 

Dick hesitated ; he felt that it would be cowardly to 
desert his companions. 

Ben, though not thus influenced, suspected his motive. 
"Come, lad," he said; "there's a path not far from this, 
and the chances are there is no one to stop us going up 
it ; I'll show thee the way." Saying this, he dashed 
forward quickly, followed by Dick. 

He was disappointed in one respect — the path was 
guarded, but knocking over the first person who opposed 
him, who happened to be Mr. Voules, and wrenching the 
cutlass out of Lord Regin'ald's hand, he dashed on. 
Dick, who kept close behind him, had a narrow escape 
of being shot, and felt pretty sure that Lord Reginald, 
whom he recognized, had seen him. 

Continuing on a short time, they were satisfied that 
they were not pursued, and might proceed homewards 
with little risk oi further interruption. Still, Ben could 
not resist the temptation of trying to ascertain the fate 
of his companions. It appeared to him that they had 
been attacked by a comparatively small party, and that 
could a number of determined men be collected, they 
might eifect a rescue. He and Dick made their way, 

114 The Rival Crusoes, 

therefore, to a farm-house, in which it had been arranged 
that the heavier part of the goods should be stowed, 
until they could be conveyed away to a distance. Here 
he found several persons, to whom he gave the first 
intelligence of the disaster. They instantly hurried off 
to collect other men from all directions. As it was well 
known what road the party with the captured goods 
would take, they intended to form an ambush to surprise 
them, but the smugglers, not having time to do this, 
made their attack in a less favourable position, with the 
result which has been seen. 

Dick again escaped, but what became of Ben he could 
not tell, though he hoped that he also had got off. Much 
as he had wished to see his father and mother, he now 
almost dreaded to meet them. His intention was to 
reach home by daybreak, and having seen them again to 
go off and hide himself in a woodman's hut in the forest, 
or in some other place, where he could remain until the 
search after him had ceased. It was not likely indeed, 
that much trouble would be taken, unless Mr. Gooch, for 
the sake of influencing his father, tried to get him into 
his power. 

With this intention he was making his way towards 
home, his thoughts so occupied that he did not hear the 
approach of Lord Reginald and Voules until they were 
close upon him. He would gladly have avoided an 
encounter, but at the same time he determined not to be 
taken prisoner when he saw that such was the young 
lord's intention. What happened has been described. 
On escaping from Lord Reginald, he soon reached a 
thick bush, behind which he could conceal himself with 

Dick hides in the Forest, 115 

little chance of being discovered. He there lay perfectly 
quiet until he heard the two horsemen ride off. 

" I am thankful I had not my gun with me, or I might 
have been tempted to use it," he said to himself. " Why 
should that young lord persecute me ? He had no busi- 
ness to come and help the revenue men, and it could do 
him and that other fellow no good to make me a prisoner, 
except to boast of what they had done. If I go home 
now they will accuse poor father and mother of harbour- 
ing me, and I shall bring them into trouble. I wonder, 
after all, if Ben got off. If I thought that he did, I'd go 
to his cottage. He would hide me there until these two 
fellows have goxiQ back to their ship, and the rest have 
got tired of looking for me. If poor Janet could see, 
I'd go home and let her alone know that I had come, 
and she would hide me away. As she can't help me, 
poor girl 1 I don't know what to do." 

Such were some of Dick's meditations. Overcome 
with fatigue, he lay down to rest a little, and, as was very 
natural, fell fast asleep. When he awoke it was broad 
daylight It would not now do to venture down to Key- 
haven. He would too probably meet some of the revenue 
men, who would to a certainty capture him. Home he 
dared not go ; his only alternative was to remain in the 
forest until the return of night, when he could traverse 
the country with less risk of encountering any one. He 
was very hungry, but , he was equally afraid of going to 
any cottage to beg for a crust, lest he should be recog- 
nized. !Not far off was a pool, of which there were many 
in the forest, where he quenched his thirst. Hips and 
haws were now ripe, there were plenty around could, 

ii6 The Rival Crusoes, 

he eat enough to satisfy the cravings of hunger. There 
were tench, too, in some of the pools — fine, fat fish, which 
he might catch, as they lay under the bank, with his 
hands, but he had no means of lighting a fire to cook 
them. He walked about listening, lest he might be sur- 
prised by any one coming ; then, growing weary, he again 
sat down under his bush. He was very hungry and very 
unhappy. Sometimes he thought he would go home in 
spite of the risk he would run, and try to see his mother 
alone. He might easily hide in one of the out-buildings, 
and steal in when his father had left the house, but then, 
knowing that he had been recognized by Lord Reginald, 
who would, he supposed, inform against him, he feared 
that he might be discovered by those who would be sent 
to search for him, though his mother, he felt sure, would 

do her best to conceal him. 

"I had better not," he said to himself; "it shall only 
get father and mother into trouble; if they don^t know 
where I am, they cannot say. V\\ go down to Susan 
RudalFs ; she'll stow me away, if I can reach her cottage 
without being seen. No one will think of looking for me 

Dick, when on board the lugger, had been rigged out 
thoroughly as a young sailor. The dress, as he thought, 
was a sufficient disguise, should he meet any one in the 
gloom of the evening. His hunger made him very eager 
to reach Susan's as soon as possible. Soon after the sun 
had set, therefore, he started for Keyhaven, going along 
by the by-paths, and keeping himself concealed as much 
as possible among the trees and brushwood. He calcu- 
lated that it would be perfectly dark by the time he got 

Dick overhears Alarming Re7narks, 117 

to the village, and that he might enter Susan's cottage 
without being perceived. For some time, meeting no 
one, he became bolder, and made his way along the lanes 
with less caution than he had before used. He had just 
turned an angle of the road, when he saw in the distance 
several persons coming towards him. He darted back, 
hoping that he had not been seen, and, getting through a 
hedge, he lay down in a dry ditch. 

Though perfectly concealed, he was almost afraid to 
breathe, lest he might he heard by the people passing. 
They had been too far off when first seen to enable hinj 
to ascertain who they were, and he dared not look through 
the hedge, lest they should perceive him. His heart beat 
quickly as he heard their footsteps approaching ; he felt 
like a criminal escaping from justice. Though constitu- 
tionally brave, the consciousness that he had acted 
wrongly in many respects made him a coward. The 
men were only, as far as he could judge, labourers return- 
ing home after their day's work. He heard them talking 
of the attempted run of contraband goods, the capture 
of the Nancy and her crew, as well as of the number of 
people assisting in the landing who had been taken. 

" It will go hard with some of them," observed one of 
the speakers; " they'll bring it in 'murder,' maybe, as two 
of the king's officers were killed, if they can prove who 
fired the shots. Whether or not. Botany Bay is the best 
they can expect, and many a year before they can see 
their wives and families again." 

"A reward is offered for catching the chaps who 
escaped," said another. 

What more was said Dick could not hear; he was 

1 1 8 The Rival Crusoes. 


thankful that he had not been seen by the men, or they 
would probably have detained him for the sake of the 
reward. He waited until they had got some distance, 
and then, creeping along the hedge, he again got into 
the lane, and ran on as before, looking out ahead so that 
he might not come suddenly on any other persons. 
Hungry and tired, he at length got close to Keyhaven. 
To pass through the village without being seen would 
be difficult He heard voices, as if people were still 
about, and lights shone in the windows of the cottages 
in sight. Had he not been so hungry, he would have 
again hidden under a hedge until later in the evening ; 
but eager to obtain something to eat, he hurried on, 
hoping by good chance to reach Susan's cottage without 
being observed. He was passing the Rodney's Head, 
when several persons issued from the door. 

" Hullo ! make that fellow heave to, and see who he 
is," said a voice ; and two men came rushing after him. 

The words made Dick start off as fast as his legs 
would carry him. The men, however, followed. He 
might still, he hoped, escape, and reach Susan's cottage. 
It was before him, but should he be seen to enter, it 
would afford him no shelter. If he could get round it, 
however, he might double back, making his way along 
on the other side of the village. He was unusually weak 
from long fasting, and found his strength failing him. 
His foot struck against a piece of an anchor fast in the 
ground, and down he fell. Before he could rise his 
pursuers were upon him. 

" You made a good run for it, my lad, but you are 
caught notwithstanding," said one of the men. " No 

Dick captured. 119 

use in kicking up a shindy, so come along with us and 

make the best of it, as many another lad has done." 

" Who are you ? What are you going to do with me ? " 

asked Dick. 

"We are men-of-war's men, and are going to make 

you serve his Majesty, as we are doing," was the answer, 

as Dick was led back to the village inn. 

"Won't you let me go and see my friends first, or let 
me send them a message to say where I am gone ? " 

The men laughed. " You can send a message when 
you are safe on board the tender. You'll be sent off 
there presently, with a few other fine fellows we have laid 
hands on. Don't be cast down, lad, you'll like the ser- 
vice well enough when you get into our ways ; and if you 
don't, like many others, you'll have to grin and bear it." 

Dick made no answer; he was in for it, and it was 
useless to complain. The disappointment, however, did 
not take away his appetite. He quickly felt his hunger 
pressing him as at first, " I wish that you'd let me have 

a crust of bread and a piece of cheese, for I have not 
put anything into my mouth for many a long hour." 

" Mrs. Simmons will soon find that for you, and a 
glass of ale, too, my lad," answered the seaman, " May- 
be, if youVe no shiners in your pocket, you'll find some 
friend inside who will treat you." 

On reaching the inn door, Dick saw a large party of 
seamen under an officer who had just mustered them 
outside, while several remained within, guarding persons 
with handcuffs on their wrists and seated on the benches. 
Two or three oi them looked very disconsolate, but the 
rest were endeavouring to keep up their spirits by laugh- 

I20 T7ie Rival Crusoes. 

ing arid joking and talking to each other, or with their 
captors. Among the former, Dick, to his sorrow, saw 
his friend Ben Rudall, who, however, did not appear to 
recognize him. The landlady looked far from pleased 
at the guests she was compelled to entertain. Dick 
caught her. eye. 

" Do give me something to eat, Mrs. Simmons ! " he 
exclaimed. " Fm pretty nigh starved." 

" Bless me, Richard Hargrave ! is that you ? You 

shall have what little I have in the house ; but it will be 
a sad night to those at home when they hear that you 
are taken." 

" I wish that you'd send up and tell them, and get it 
broken gently to my mother and Janet," said Dick, as 
Mrs. Simmons placed bread and cheese, and a piece of 
cold bacon before him, with a mug of ale. 

" Be smart, my lad, and stow that food away," said the 
seaman, who stood by with a pair of handcuffs. " You'll 

get some breakfast on board the tender to-morrow 

" Maybe ; but I should be starved to death before 
to-morrow morning, if you don't let me eat this," an- 
swered Dick, munching away with all his might. He 
had never eaten so fast, for he expected every moment 
that the seaman would lose patience and clap the hand- 
cuffs on him. He was allowed, however, to swallow the 
contents of the plate as well as the ale. 

" I'll pay you, Mrs. Simmons, some day when I come 
back J and thank you in the mean time," said Dick, when 
he had finished his hasty meal. 

" You are welcome to it, my boy," said the landlady, 

Ben Rudall a Prisoner. 121 

" and who knows but that you'll one day come back a 

The sailor laughed as he clapped the handcuffs on 
Dick's wrists. Directly afterwards the officer ordered the 
prisoners to be brought out, as the boat had arrived from 
the tender to carry them on board. 

Ben Rudall, who had hitherto been silent, finding that 
he was at once to be carried off, rose to his feet and lift- 
ing up his manacled hands addressed the officer, " It is 
hard lines for me, sir, to be dragged away from my wife 
and family, without so much as saying good-bye to them. 
They live not many doors off, do^vn the lane ; won't you 
just let me go down and kiss the children ? Maybe you 
are a father yourself, and you wouldn't like to be carried 
away from your young ones without saying a few last 
words to cheer them up." 

"It can't be done, my man," answered the officer, 
turning away. " If I grant you the favour, all the rest 
will be wanting to go and wish their wives and children 
farewell, and a fine account I should have to give of 
them ! Bring the prisoners along ! " he shouted to the 

" You'll tell poor Susan what has happened," said Ben, 

as he passed the landlady. " Tell her to keep up her 
spirits. I'll be back home as soon as I can." 

"Trust me, Ben," said kind-hearted Mrs. Simmons; 
" rii see your wife to-morrow morning, and tell her what 
you say." 

The officer, losing patience, ordered his party to move 
on. The men-of-war's men kept close around their cap- 
tivesj who would, they knew, attempt to escape if there 

122 The Rival Crusoes. 

was the slightest chance of their doing so, or they thought 
it possible that the smugglers' associates might endeavour 
to rescue them. The boat, however, was reached with- 
out any attempt of the sort being made, and the prisoners 
were compelled to step on board. 

Some of the more daring resisted, hoping that perhaps 
even then assistance might come to them, but a seaman's 
pistol held at the heads of the refractory ones compelled 
them to obey, and in another minute they were all seated 

in the boat, which at once pulled away for tlie tender, 

Dick found himself seated next to Ben, 

" A bad job this, my boy; I never thought you and I 
should be hauled away like this," whispered Ben. " If 
they hadn't put our wrists in irons we'd be overboard 
and soon stowed away where they wouldn't find us in a 


Dick did not say he thought that it was owing to Ben 
he was brought into his present condition. He merely 
answered, " I wouldn't try to escape if I could. If a 
man-of-war is as bad as you say, I shall be dead in 
a short time, and it won't much matter to any one." 

" Silence there, men ! " shouted the officer, who over- 
heard Ben and Dick talking. " Give way, lads ! " 

The boat was soon alongside the tender, a large cutter, 
which lay off the mouth of the creek. The captured men 

were compelled to mount her side, two stout fellows 
standing by to lift them up by the collars of their jackets, 
as they were unable to use their hands, when they were 
at once sent down into the hold of the vessel, over which 
a sentry with a loaded musket kept guard. 

It was a large, gloomy place, lighted by a single ship*s 

On board the Tender. 123 

lantern, which hung from one of the beams. Dick could 
see that it already contained about twenty people, most 
of them rough, seafaring men, seated with their backs 
against the side, or stretched on the deck. Some were 
talking in low, grave tones, others were endeavouring to 
forget themselves in sleep. A few looked up and nodded 
as they recognized acquaintances, but not many words 
were exchanged between them. Dick saw several persons 
whom he knew, but the greater number had been captured 

by the pressgang on other parts of the coast. Dick, 
though no longer hungry, was very tired, and seeing a 
vacant spot, threw himself down with his back against the 
after bulkhead. 

" I have found out all about it," said Ben, who some 
time afterwards seated himself by his side. " It is all 

owing to that young lord and his father. The marquis, I 
hear, wrote over to Portsmouth some time ago to have 
this pressgang sent down here to make a clean sweep 
of all the seafaring men they could lay hands on. If 
they had come a few days sooner, they would have 
stopped the Nancy from attempting the run, and we 
should have got off again ; but as ill luck would have it, 
they arrived just in time to catch us, and the other poor 
fellows who had come on shore. I wish that I could lay 
hands on that Lord Reginald; I'd pay him off." 

" Little chance of that," observed Dick ; " he'll soon 
be safe on board the Wolf^ and we shall be sent off, may- 
be, in some ship to the other end of the world. I don't 
care where I go ; but it seems to me what we have now 
to do is to make the best of it. I have been thinking 

pver the matter since I have been staying here, and of 


124 The Rival Crusoes. 

course, as the king wants men to fight his battles, and as 
it is my luck, good or bad, to become one of them, I'll do 
my best and try to keep clear of the cat-o'-nine-tails 
which you used to tell me about" 

"You'll be precious lucky if you are able to do that, 
my lad," growled Ben. " Howsumdever, as we're in for it, 
I don't want to make you think things are worse than 
they are. You'll soon find out what's what." 

" I suppose I shall," answered Dick, v/ho was becoming 
very sleepy, and in spite of the noises going on around 
him — the loud talking — the tramping of feet overhead 
the movement of the vessel, which had got under way, 
and his uncomfortable position, he was soon in happy 
forgetfulness of all his troubles. 

The cutter, after proceeding some distance, met with a 
strong head wind, and was soon pitching her bows into 
the fast rising seas. Dick was awakened by finding him- 
self slipping away to leeward, and presendy afterwards 
the vessel shipped a sea, the heavy spray from which 
came down through the main hatchway, and gave an un- 
pleasant shower-bath to those below it, and Dick had to 
scramble as best he could out of the water which collected 
to leeward. The cutter, under close-reefed mainsail, 
stood on, heeling over to starboard for some time ; then 
she went about, and directed her course towards the north 
shore. Once more she tacked in the direction she had 
before been going. The smugglers grumbled and swore, 
expressing very little confidence in the seamanship of the 
dockyard maties. At length, however, tliey heard the 
order to take in the jib. The vessel came on an even 
keel, the anchor was let go ; she had brought up in Cowcs 


Dick declines Ben's Proposal. 125 

" If this wind holds, we shan't see Portsmouth harbour 
to-day," said Ben. "I suppose they can't intend to keep 
the irons on our wrists, now they have got us all safe. 
If we stop here for the night, I have a great mind to try 
and get away. I have many friends on shore, and some 
of them are sure to come off to learn what this craft is 
about. If I get the chance, I'll slip overboard and swim 
to one of their boats. What do you say, Dick ; will you 
come ? " 

"We haven't got the chance yet," answered Dick; ^^\i 
I get off where should I go ? I cannot return home, and 
I should just have to starve or beg, or take to some worse 
course. No, no ; you may try it if you wish, but I'll stay 
here and learn what a man-of-war is like." 

Ben made further vain attempts to induce Dick to join 
him. Their conversation was interrupted by several men 
coming from forward with a supply of biscuits and cold 
salt beef and a grog tub, which, with a number of tin 
mugs, was placed in the centre of the deck. The latter 
seemed to afford infinite satisfaction, and the prisoners, 
in much better humour than before, laughed and talked 
and joked as if they had no cares in the world. A strict 
watch was still, however, kept over them, as, from their 
desperate character, it was suspected that they would not 
fail to try and take advantage of any opportunity which 
might offer of getting free. 

For upwards of three days the cutter lay at Cowes, the 
captured men being narrowly watched, though tolerably 
well fed and not ill treated. The time passed heavily 
away. Growling and swearing was the order of the day, 

Dick heard some of the smugglers vow that, if taken on 

126 The Rival Crusoe^. 

board a man-of-war, they would sooner blow the ship up 
than remain in her; that all ships were alike — perfect 
hells afloat \ and that it would be better to be. shot or 
hung at once than to endure the existence they would 
have to lead on board. Of one thing he himself was 
certain,, that he was heartily sick of being kept down in 
the cutter's hold. He felt eager to get free, even though 

he might have to exchange it for one of the much-abused 
king's ships. 

At length, the weather moderating, the cutter got 
under way and stood for Spithead, where several men- 
of-war rode at anchor. While the cutter lay hove to, 
a boat with a lieutenant from one of them came along- 
side. The officer, on stepping on board, ordered the 
men to be mustered. Dick watched him, and thinking 

from his countenance that he must be a good-natured, 
kind man, hoped that he himself might be among those 
he was about to select for his ship. The lieutenant 
spoke to the men one by one, asking them various ques- 
tions, and finally chose a dozen of the best hands, who 
were forthwith ordered to get into his boat. 

Dick was greatly disappointed on finding that Ben 
and he were not taken. The commander of the cutter 
then received directions to run into Portsmouth harbour, 
and to take the remainder of the prisoners on board 
another ship, which lay there ready to receive them. 
Various surmises were offered as to what ship she might 
be. Neither Dick nor Ben could gain any information. 

" It matters very little; they're all alike," growled Beu. 

On entering the harbour the question was soon settled. 

A fine frigate lay at anchor off the dockyard, with her 

Dick on the Prigates Deck. 127 

sails bent, and with every appearance of being ready for 
sea. The cutter brought up close to her, and a signal 
being made, she at once sent a boat alongside. 

** Now, lads, tumble up 1 " cried the lieutenant. '* You 
have got to serve his Majesty, and I would advise you 

to put a good face upon the matter, and show that 
you are honest Englishmen, ever ready to do your duty 
and fight for your country. You'll come back with your 
pockets full of prize money, and be glad you went." 

Dick listened. " That's what I want to do," he said 
to himself; "and I will if I can." 

Some of the old hands — Ben among the rest — were 
not influenced in the same way. 

" All very fine I " he growled out ; " but the proof of 
the pudding is in the eating. We shall get more scars 

on our backs from the cat than guineas in our pockets, 

IVe a notion." 

The boat was soon alongside, and Dick with his com- 
panions were ordered up on deck, where they stood 
grouped together until the first lieutenant came to take 
down their names, and enter them on the ship's books. 
It was the first time Dick had ever been on board a 
man-of-Avar. He gazed round with astonishment at the 
extent of the white decks, the size of the highly polished 
guns, the height of the masts, the ropes neatly flemished 
down, and the order which everywhere prevailed. 

"She's a fine ship, at all events; and if it wasn't for 
father and mother and Janet, I should not be sorry to 
have come," he thought. 

The first lieutenant, an active, kind-eyed looking 
ofliicer, spoke to the men much in the same way as the 

128 The Rival Criisoes. 

commander of the cutter had done. When he came to 
Dick, he inquired whether he had been to sea before. 

" Only on board a lugger, sir," answered Dick. 

" Well, my lad, I d.o not inquire what you were doing 
on board her ; but I tell you, as you look a smart lad, 
that if you do your duty you will be sure to get on, and 
soon obtain a good rating." 

Dick touched his cap, as he had seen some of the 
men doing when they spoke to an officer, and replied, 
" I'll do my best, sir." 

" That's rights my lad," observed the first lieutenant, 
as he turned away to attend to some other duty. 

Although on deck strict order and discipline prevailed, 
Dick on going below found a very different scene, and 
it was some time before he got accustomed to the uproar, 
the men in hoarse voices bawling to each other, and 
laughing and joking and -playing all sorts of tricks, some 
rushing here and there, others seated in groups, amusing 
themselves in a variety of ways. 

"At all events, there can't be much to make them 
unhappy, for they seem to be a merry set oi {qWqw^^^^ 
thought Dick, as he was standing by himself, watching 
what was going forward. An officer, with a silver chain 
and whistle round his neck, coming by, asked him his 
name. Dick told him, and replied to a few other ques- 
tions. The officer passed on, 

"Who's that?" asked Dick of another lad who hap- 
pened to be standing near. 

" That's Mr. Bitts, the boatswain." 

"He seems a fair-spoken gentleman," observed Dick. 

" Gentleman ! I don't think he calls himself a gentle- 

A Satisfactory Commencement. 129 

man ; but he has a good deal to do with us, and it is 
wise to stand well with him, for he can use that rattan 

he had in his hand pretty smartly." 

Shortly afterwards Mr. Bitts came back. Touching 
Dick on the shoulder, he said, " I want a boy, and I 
have applied for you. You^ll understand you are to 
attend on me, so look out and do your duty." 

Dick, on inquiring of the other lad, found he was to 
be the boatswain's servant, which, although not an office 
of much honour, had its advantages, if he could manage 
to please his master. Dick soon found that his duties 
were not very onerous, and provided he was smart and 
active, Mr. Bitts appeared to be satisfied. Altogether, 
when the hammocks were piped down, and he was 
allowed to turn into the one allotted to him, which the 
boatswain ordered one of the men to show him how to 
sling, he was tolerably well pleased with the prospect 
before him. As he was not placed in any watch, he had 
the advantage of sleeping through the whole night 

When the hammocks were piped up the next morning, 
he turned out refreshed and ready to do anything re- 
quired of him. He had lost sight of Ben, who having 
found several acquaintances on board, and being engaged 
in talking with them, did not trouble himself about him. 

The next day, the captain coming on board, the crew 
were mustered, when all the men as well as the officers 
had to come on deck. Dick was thinking what a fine 
body of men they appeared, when his eye, glancing aft, 
fell on two of the midshipmen, one of whom had his arm 
in a sling, and he at once recognized Lord Reginald and 
Mr. Voules. The former seemed to know him, for he 

130 The Rival Crusoes. 

saw the young lord turn to the other midshipman and 
say a few words, and then look again towards him. Dick 
had not before inquired what ship he was on board, but 
he now found that he belonged to the IVolf. 

" I hope we shall not come across each other, and I'll 
do my best to keep out of his way," he said to himself 
" He'll not forget, however, how he came to have his arm 
in a sling, and maybe he'll try to pay me off; if he does, 
I'll show him that I won't stand bullying aboard, any 
more than I would on shore." 

Captain Moubray, having made a short address to his 
crew, reminding them of the renown they had already 
gained, and expressing his confidence that they would 
keep up their credit, ordered the boatswain to pipe down. 

Dick, according to his resolution, kept clear of Lord 

" It is lucky for you, my lad, that I had applied 
for you, as the midshipmen have asked for you to be 
the boy of their mess," said Mr. Bitts, when Dick was 
attending on him that evening. " That young lord and 
Mr. Voules wanted me to swap you for Tom Dolter, but 
I took Tom's measure some time ago, and let me tell 
you, my lad, that you may bless your stars. It's not 
pleasant to serve a dozen masters, though, if I hadn't held 
out, that young lord and Mr. Voules would have had 
their way." 

Dick had good reason to be thankful at his escape. 
Next day the frigate went out to Spithead, took her 
powder on board, and blue-peter was hoisted, as a signal 
tliat she was about to sail 


Defiant looks — The spirit of ill-will increases — Some "very kind 
intentions" — Dick's persecutors — In the midshipmen's mess- 
Paddy Logan and Toady Voules — Tlie last look at Old England 
— The first encounter — Mr. Bitts to the rescue — Ideas of revenge 
— A sail on the lee bow — Preparing for action— A fierce battle^ 
The f^£?y victorious — Bravery of Dick — Hard work to keep the 
prize afloat — Bound for Plymouth with the prize. 

HE frigate's sails were loose, the crew at the 
capstan tramped round to the merry sound of 

the fife, the boatswain's pipe was heard shrilly- 
repeating the orders he received ; the sails were sheeted 
home, the anchor came to the bows, was catted and 
fished, and the Wo/f, with canvas widespread to the 
breeze, glided majestically through the waters of the 
Solent Dick wisely kept as much as possible out of 
the way of Lord Reginald. AVhen they occasionally 
came in sight of each other, he did not fail to remark 

the angry look the young lord cast at him, while he 
himself could not help glancing at the other's arm, still 
in a sling. 

"That young ruffian's insolence is unbearable!" ex- 

132 The Rival Crusoes, 

claimed Lord Reginald, on one occasion, turning away 
and addressing Voules, whom he happened to meet. " I 
wish that he had been caught on shore, when he would 
have been sent off to prison, and we should not have 
been troubled with him here. I was half inclined to 
denounce him as a fugitive from justice when I first saw 
him on board j but as we wanted hands, I thought that 
the captain would not thank me." 

"Well pay him off somehow or other," answered 
Voules. " I'll find the means to do it, and hell wish he 
had been sent to prison before he stepped on the Wolffs 

"I say, Oswald, what's happened to your arm?" asked 
Charles Ludlam, the senior mate of the berth, in which 
most of the members of their mess happened to be 

" A blow I received on it," answered Lord Reginald, 
not being willing to explain matters. 

" He got it while attempting in a very gallant way to 
seize a fellow who was suspected of being a smuggler," 
observed Voules, coming to his friend's rescue. "You 
may depend upon it that Oswald would have caught him 
if it had not been for that." 

" Faith ! What business had he to be trying to seize a 
smuggler ? " asked Paddy Logan, who was no admirer of 
Lord Reginald, and still less of Voules. 

The latter was somewhat puzzled how to reply. " In 
support of the law which you Irish fellows delight in 
breaking," he at length answered. 

" Do you dare to cast reflections on the honour of 
Irishmen ? " exclaimed Logan, firing up. " Naval officers 

A Disi)ttte in the Mess, 133 

are not expected to be excisemen. Of course tne fellow 

had every right to defend himself." 

" I cast no reflections on the honour of Irishmen, but 
you yourself show your readiness to take the part of a 
lawless character," answered Voules. " Besides, the young 

scoundrel had previously grossly insulted Oswald and 


"Then he was influenced by private motives rather 
than public spirit," observed Ludlam, who was fond of 
speaking the truth, even though it might be unpalatable 
to his hearers. "Still, Oswald, I am sorry you are hurtj 
and hope that you will be wiser in future." 

" I shall always be found ready to defend my own rights 
whether against my equals or plebeians," answered Lord 
Reginald, haughtily. " I consider that I acted properly, 
and do not require to be pitied by you or any other 
person, merely because I happen to get an inconvenient 
blow on the arm." 

" Mayn't any one else pity you ? " asked Tommy 
Shackel, the smallest midshipman on board, who was apt 
to take a malicious pleasure in seeing his seniors have a 
scrimmage among each other, 

" Hold your tongue. Master Jackanapes ! " exclaimed 
Voules; "Oswald knows best what he likes and dis- 

" I only asked a question," said Tommy, in his squeaky 
voice; "and I put it to Oswald, and not to you." 

"How dare you speak to me in that fashion?" ex- 
claimed Voules, about to give the small midshipman a 
box on the ear. 

" You'd better let him alone 1 " cried Paddy Logan, 

134 ^^ Rival Crusois, 

jumping up, ** I appeal to Ludlam, who allows no bully- 
ing in the berth. Because you have had the honour of 
stajdng at Elverston Hall, you fancy you can exhibit your 

airs to us, but you are mistaken, my boy, as much as 
Oswald was when he first joined." 

Voules retorted, and Paddy and he would soon have 
come to blows, had not Ludlam interfered, and by the 
exercise of the authority he maintained in the berth, 
restored order. 

This scene took place on the first evening that the 
members of the berth all met together. 

The frigate was now standing down between the main- 
land and the wooded shores of the Isle of Wight. Cal- 
shot Castle — then held as a fortress, with a governor and 
a garrison — was seen on the right. On the left hand was 

the little town of Cowes, surrounded by woods, among 
which, here and there, a few cottages peeped out. Then 
Lymington became visible on the Hampshire shore, and, 
beyond it, the long shingly beach of Hurst. Many eyes 
on board were turned in that direction. Lord Reginald 
and Voules, using their spy-glasses, thought that they 

could catch a distant view of the hall, while forward, Dick 
Hargrave, Ben, and several other men were turning their 
gaze on well-known spots. Dick felt more sad than he 
had done since he came on board. He was thinking 
how anxious his father, mother, and poor Janet would be 
about him ; even should Mrs. Simmons have conveyed his 
message to them, they would only know that he had been 
carried off in the tender, and would remain ignorant of 
the ship on board which he had been sent He had not 
written, for he possessed neither pens, ink, nor paper, 

Hostilities commenced, 135 

and would have found it a difficult matter to indite an 
epistle with the uproar going on around him. Poor 
Dick gazed on until the tears came to his eyes. Though 
it was greatly owing to his own fault that he was being 
carried away from home and those he loved, he was not 
the less to be commiserated. While he thus stood, 
scarcely conscious of what was going on around him, 
Lord Reginald, who had been sent forward with a message 
to the third lieutenant on some duty, passed him. 

" What makes you stand idling there, boy ? " exclaimed 
the midshipman, looking at him as if he had never seen 
him before, giving him a blow with the end of a rope. 
" You have no business on deck \ go and attend to your 
duty below." 

Dick's first impulse was to raise his arm to defend 

himself. It was with difficulty he could refrain from 


" I have no duty that I know of to attend to, and I 
have a right to look towards yonder shore, which neither 

you nor I may see for some time to come," he answered. 

" What ! You are a sea lawyer, are you ? " exclaimed 
Lord Reginald, angrily, Dick's words adding intensity to 
the vindictive feelings he already entertained towards him. 
" I'll report you to the first lieutenant, and he'll soon find 
means to make you mend your manners." 

Dick was going to reply, when he saw Voules coming 
along the deck, and he had the discretion to hold his 
tongue, knowing that the worst interpretation would be 
put on whatever he said. 

This was the commencement of hostilities on board 
the frigate between the young lord and the farmer's son. 

136 The Rival Crusoes. 

Scarcely a day passed that they did not come in contact 
with each other, when Lord Reginald never lost an 
opportunity of abusing the ship's boy, or striking him, if 
he had the least excuse, with a rope's end. Dick bore the 
ill treatment manfully, and endeavoured to the best of 
his power to do his duty. Though treated kindly by the 
boatswain, with the ordinary feelings of a yeoman's son he 
would not willingly have rendered menial service to any 
oney but as it was his duty he did not complain, and did 
his utmost to please his master. Mr. Bitts had, by some 
means or other, discovered how Lord Reginald behaved 
to Dick, but had not actually seen him struck. The 
boatswain was not a man to allow any one to interfere 
with his prerogatives. He at length, however, saw the 
young lord, who did not observe him, strike Dick across 
the shoulders with a rope's end, and order him off to per- 
form some duty or other. 

Mr. Bitts immediately came forward and confronted 
the midshipman, with an angry glare in his keen eyes, for 
although Mr. Bitts was not a man of many inches, he was 
a determined person, with huge whiskers, a firm mouth, 
large forehead, and broad shoulders. " Are you aware, 
Lord Reginald Oswald, that you are infringing the rules 
of the service ? That boy belongs to me, and I'll let you 
know that neither your lordship nor any one else shall 
dare to ill-treat him.^* 

Lord Reginald looked somewhat astonished at this 
unexpected address. He was too proud to apolgize, as he 
might have done and so settled the matter. " The fellow 
was idling," he answered, haughtily, "and I am not 
expected to know what boys you consider belonging to 

Mr. Bitts protects Dick, 137 

yourself. If I fmA him or any one else neglecting his 
duty I shall see that he attends to it." 

" I shall report you, Lord Reginald Oswald, if I find 
you interfering again with that boy, or any other over 
whom you have no authority," retorted the boatswain. 
'* You may stand well in the opinion of the captain and 
some of the officers, but others, let me tell you, hold you 
at a much cheaper rate." 

"This insolence is unbearable !" muttered Lord Red- 
nald ; but he recollected that, although he was the son oi 
a marquis, the boatswain was his superior officer in the 
service, and that he should be guilty of insubordination 
should he continue the dispute. He walked away, there- 
fore, with feelings more embittered than ever against Dick 
Hargrave. Soon afterwards, meeting Voules, he told him 

what had occurred. 

" I don't know what will become of the discipline of 
the ship, if the warrant officers venture to interfere in the 
way old Bitts has done," observed Voules. "We must 
pay him off some day ; but as to that fellow Hargrave, 
he is beneath your notice. I wish that we could have 
got him as our mess boy; we would soon have tamed his 
spirit. However, I won't let slip any opportunity of 
punishing him as he deserves," 

Voules was as good as his word, every time the oppor- 
tunity occurred, though he took very good care that Mr. 
Bitts should not see him ill-treating Dick. He told Lord 
Reginald what he had done, apparently taking a pleasure 
in nourishing the resentment the young lord felt against 
the farmer's son. It was but natural that Dick himself 
should feel ill-will towards his persecutors. He did not 

138 The Rival Crusoes. 

complain to Mr. Bitts, of whom he stood not a little in 
awe, but he frequently did so to Ben Rudall, who ground 
his teeth and clenched his fists as he listened. 

" We'll pay the chaps off one of these days," he mut- 
tered. "You've heard tell, Dick, of the mutiny at the 
Nore, when the men rose and took the whole fleet from 
their officers, and would not give in until the Admiralty 
granted their terms. To be sure, a few of them were run 
up to the yardarm, but the men won't stand bullying 
now any more than they did in those days. If officers 
don't know how to behave themselves they must be 
taught. I wouldn't advise you to givQ the young lord tit 
for tat, or turn round when he next hits you, and use the 
rope's end on his back, but I should be wonderfully in- 
clined to try it on, and let them hang me afterwards if 
they like." 

Dick listened eagerly to what Ben said — the advice was 
too much in accordance with his own feelings, 

Voules had spoken of him to the first lieutenant and 
to some other officers, and described him as a young 
ruffian who had been leagued with smugglers, and was 
now the associate of men of the worst character on 


Dick was accordingly strictly, if not harshly treated, 
and though he had at first been well-disposed to do hit 
duty, he became every day more and more discontented, 
and ready to retort upon those whom he looked upon as 



The frigate had been ordered to cruise in the Channel 
off the French coast, and a sharp look-out was kept night 
and day for an enemy. 

The ''Wolf' in Chase. 139 

"We shall soon see how these young gentlemen behave 
if we get alongside of mounseer. They can hold their 
heads high enough now, but when the Frenchman's shot 
come whizzing about their ears, they'll duck them fast 
enough," said Ben. 

" Is there a chance, then, of our having a battle ? " 
inquired Dick. " I should like to be in one, just to see 
how things are managed." 

" If Captain Moubray is the sort of man I have heard 
him described, he'll do his best to look out for an enemy," 
replied Ben. 

Still, day after day passed by and no suspicious sail was 
met with. At length, one evening, soon after dark, the 

Wolf was standing in towards the French coast. Having 
passed the Island of Groix, she continued on until several 
shots were fired at her from a fort, which, however, did no 
damage. She put about, and a short time afterwards, the 
wind being E.N.E., the look-out aloft shouted — 

" A sail on the lee bow ! " 

The stranger was now seen to be running west by 
south. The /^^ immediately made all sail, and as she 
got nearer, two muskets were fired towards the chase, 
which appeared to be a large ship, to bring her to. In- 
stead of so doing, however, the Frenchman, for such she 
undoubtedly was, set all the sail she could carry, en- 
deavouring to escape. This seemed strange, for as far 
as could be judged, she was a larger ship than the Wolf. 

"Will she get away?" asked Dick, who was standing 
near Ben Rudall at one of the bow-ports on the main- 
deck, through which they could dimly see the chase rising 

like some phantom giant stalking over the deep. 


140 The Rival Crtisoes. 

" Not if we continue to overhaul her as we are now 
doing," answered Ben. 

"Will she fight?" inquired Dick. 

" Ay, and fight hard, too, just as a rat does when caught 
in a corner. It's a way those Frenchmen have, though 
why she runs now is more than I can tell. Maybe some 
of us will be losing the number of our mess. I should not 
care if I was among them myself. It's a dog's life I lead 
on board here; but I am thinking of poor Susan. If I 
am hit, it will be hard lines with her ; she and the young 
ones will have to bear up for the work'us, for there's no 
one will care for the smuggler's wife, as they call her." 

"But I hope you won't be killed, Ben," said Dick; 
" there's no reason why you should be more than any one 


"Well, well, Pm not afraid," answered Ben; "the 
enemy's shot are in no ways particular, and I should not 
be so very sorry if one of them was to take off the head of 
that Lord Reginald or Toady Voules, as his messmates 
call him." 

" I could not bring myself to wish either one of them 
such a fate as that," observed Dick, who had not alto- 
gether forgotten his mother's instructions and Christian 

" I have no reason to love either the young lord or his 
toady, and I should not weep my eyes out if they were to 
be killed — they'd only get their deserts ; and for my own 
part, I would like to see them both knocked over by the 
same round shot," growled Ben, between his teeth. 

The frigate was noyv approaching the chase. The 
drum beat to quarters, and the crew hurried up from 

Preparations for a higld. 141 

below, most of them stripped to the waist with handker- 
chiefs round their heads and loins. The glare of , the fight- 
ing lanterns, hung up on the beams along the deck, cast a 
glow on their muscular figures, the breaches of the guns 
and other salient points, while all the rest were cast in 
the deepest gloom. 

Ben went to his gun, and Dick was ordered below to 
the magazine to bring up ammunition. Though much 
bigger than any of the other lads so employed, as he had 
been only a short time at sea, he had to perform the 
humble duty of a powder monkey. He would far rather 
have been engaged in working one of the guns. 

The Wolfy{^^ carrying all the canvas which could be 
packed on her, studding-sails on either side and royals 
aloft. The chase also, under all sail, was still doing her 
utmost to keep ahead, but the Wolf^ being the fastest 
ship of the two, gained rapidly on her. The men stood 
at their guns, waiting eagerly for the moment that the 
order to fire should be given, laughing, however, and 
cracking their usual jokes. The officers went their 
rounds, to see that ail necessary preparations had been 

Dick was seated on his ammunition tub on the main- 
deck, when Lord Reginald and Voules, who had each a 
certain number of guns to look after, passed him. 

" I say, Oswald, that young smuggler looks pale enough 
now," observed Voules, in a voice sufficiently loud for 
Dick to hear him. " We must keep a sharp look-out on 
him, or he'll be running below to stow himself away in 
the hold." 

"Trust me for that! those ruffians ashore are the 

142 The Rival Crusoes. 

greatest cowards afloat," answered the young lord, as he 
passed on. 

Dick heard him. "I'll show him that I am no 
coward," he said to himself. 

Ben also, who was stationed at one oi the guns it was 
Dick's duty to serve, heard the remark. " * Cowards ! ' 
does he call us ? " he muttered. *^ He and Mr. Toady 
will be the first to show the white feather, I've a notion." 

Shortly afterwards the sounds of two guns were heard. 
One shot, glancing along the Wolfs bow, sent the 
splinters flying off it, while the other was seen to ricochet 
over the smooth water. The enemy had fired her stem 
chasers. The Wolf^ without yawing, could not reply. 
She stood on, therefore, eager to come up with the chase. 
The latter was seen directly afterwards taking in her 
studdingsails and royals. The British crew cheered as 
they saw this. There was no longer any doubt that the 
enemy was ready to fight The order was now given to 
take in all the studdingsails. The royals were next 
handed; the crew, who had left their quarters for the 
purpose, immediately hurrying back to their guns. Both 
frigates were still rapidly running through the water. 
Suddenly the chase put down her helm and luffed up on 
the starboard tack, intending to rake the Wolf^ which was 
now coming up on her weather quarter. 

" Hard a-starboard ! *' shouted Captain Moubray, and 
the Wolf was brought up on the opposite tack, thus 
avoiding the raking fire, and receiving the enemy's shot 
on the starboard side. " Well done ! '* cried the captain. 
*' Now hard a-port !" 

The ship once more came up to the wind, and just 

The Action commenced, 143 

clearing the French frigate's starboard quarter, shot up right 
abreast of her to windward. Both thus in near proximity, 
poured their broadsides into each other, and tlie battle 
became hot and furious. The British crew ran their guns. 
in and out, the frigate's shot dealing death and destruc- 
tion along the decks of her antagonist. It was just the 
position English sailors like the best. Dick saw several 
of his shipmates knocked over, and one poor boy, with 
whom he had just been talking, fell close to his side. He 
knelt down to help him, but not a movement was per- 
ceptible. He took his hand ; it fell on the deck. The 

boy was dead. 

Dick's tub was soon exhausted oi its contents, and he 

hurried below to the magazine to get it refilled. He lost 
not a moment, but was again at his station. 

" They shan't say I'm skulking," he muttered. " I 
wonder what Lord Reginald is doing." 

Dick might have seen the young lord, in spite of the 
shot crashing on board and sending the splinters flying 
about in all directions, killing or wounding several near 
him — the colour in his cheeks somewhat heightened, per- 
haps — attending to his duty and cheering on his men, 
and when the captain of a gun was killed, taking his 
place and laying hold of the tackles to haul it in for 

For some time the two frigates ran off before the wind ; 
as tacks and sheets and yards were shot away, gradually 
decreasing their speed. In consequence of the injuries 
the French frigate had received, the Wolf shot slightly 
ahead, when the former attempted to cross her stern, for 
the purpose of raking her, or gaining the wind, but not 

144 '^^^^ Rival Crusoes, 

having room for this manosiivre, she ran her jib-boom 
between the British ship's main and mizzen rigging. 

The third lieutenant, calhng several of the men, 
attempted to lash it there, while the /%^ poured in a hre 
which swept across the Frenchman's bows, but half those 
engaged in the effort, while hanging \n the rigging, were 
shot, and the lieutenant himself fell badly wounded to 
the deck. Immediately afterwards the ships separated 
and stood on as before, exchanging furious broadsides. 
Dick saw Ben still working away at his grin, as eager as 
the rest of the crew, having evidently forgotten all about 
his gloomy anticipations of losing the number of his mess. 

For upwards of two hours the ships had been engaged, 
and no perceptible advantage had been gained by either. 
At length the Wolf again forged ahead. Captain Mou- 
bray did not neglect the muclvwished-for opportunity, 
but ordered the helm to be put hard a-starboard, and, 
while thus passing across the hawse of the French frigate, 
poured in a broadside which swept her decks fore and 
aft, killing and wounding many of her crew, and inflicting 
serious damage on her masts and rigging. Again the 
Wolfs helm was put hard a-port, "which brought the 
enemy a little before her starboard beam, when again 
the ships ran on with the wind about a point on the star- 
board quarter. Still it remained doubtful which would 
gain the victory. The British officers and crew had, how- 
ever, made up their minds not to give in while a stick was 
standing; but the most indomitable bravery cannot always 
overcome the chances of war. 

While Captain Moubray, with the master by his side, 
was eagerly watching every movement of his antagonist, 

The ''Wolfs'' Mizzenmast falls. 145 

to take advantage of what might occur, a shot from her 
struck the mizzenmast, already severely wounded. With 
a fearful crash down it came on deck, inboard, killing one 
of the men at the wheel, which it much damaged, and 
severely injuring many others, while it encumbered the 
whole quarterdeck with its rigging, spars, and sails. 
They could hear the crew of the French ship cheer as 
they saw what had happened, 

" You may * hulloo ' as long as you like, mounseers, but 
we'll be giving you as good before long," cried Ben ; 
several of his shipmates echoing his words. 

They were right, for scarcely had the Frenchmen's 
cheers ceased, than down also fell their mizzenmast with 
a tremendous crash, evidently doing much damage. 
Almost immediately afterwards the mainmast followed, 
though the foremast still stood, enabling her to continue 
the action. 

The boatswain and his crew hurried to clear the wreck, 
while the carpenter endeavoured to repair the damaged 
wheel. The two ships again lay abreast of each other, 
though at a greater distance than before. The Wolf^ how- 
ever, did not, in consequence oi the accident, slacken her 
fire, and she and her opponent w^ere gradually sheering 
closer together, when the latter was seen to put her helm 
hard a-starboard, so as to lay the Wolf on board. The 
order was now received from the captain to load the main- 
deck guns with double shot and the canonades with 

"She will strike us on the bow," observed Captain 
Moubray to the master, " and as she is sure afterwards to 

rebound; the quarters of the two ships will be brought 

146 Tiie Rival Cruso^s. 

together. She intends to board us. Boarders, be pre- 
pared to repel boarders ! " he shouted. At the same 
time the word was passed along the decks, not again to 
fire until the order was received from the captain. 

The two ships drew closer and closer together, until the 
bows met with a loud crash, and although the Frenchmen 
at the same time let fly a broadside, the English gunners, 
obedient to their orders, refrained from firing in return. 

As was expected, the bows rebounded from each other ; 
the quarters of the two ships almost immediately came to- 
gether. The quarter of the French ship was seen crowded 
with men, ready to spring on board the Wolf, 

" Now, my lads, give it them !'* cried Captain Moubray, 
and his word was passed along the decks. 

The big guns sent their balls, and the carronades their 
showers of grape, into the very midst of the Frenchmen. 
Fearful must have been the effect among the crowded 
masses, and cries and groans resounded through the night 

Four guns only replied to the last broadside, showing 
the havoc and confusion it had caused. At the same 

moment flames burst forth from the Frenchman's deck. 
The English worked their guns with redoubled vigour. 
Scarcely had the fire disappeared from one part of the 
French ship, than it broke forth in another. Her shrouds 
and running rigging had been cut away, and her remain- 
ing mast was tottering. Still the Frenchmen fought on, 
though they could scarcely, it seemed, have hoped for 

Once more the ships separated, still continuing to 
exchange broadsides, though many of the Frenchman's 


guns had been silenced. Still, from the number of men 

The French Ship boarded. 147 

seen on her decks, they might hope to gain the victory 
by boaxding. To guard against such a contingency was 
now Captain Moubra/s chief care. Again the bows of 
the two ships met, when the outer arm of the Wolfs 
best bower anchor, entering the foremost main-deck port 
of the French frigate, held her fast. 

Though the English continued to pour broadside after 
broadside into their enemy, no signal of surrender was 
shown. Every moment it seemed as if the foremast of 
the latter, already tottering, would go by the board, and 
probably fall on the deck of the Wolf, 

'* We must put an end to this !" cried Captain Moubray. 
" Boarders, follow me ! " 

He sprang forward, several of his officers and those to 
whom he had given the word, pressing round him, all 
eager to be the first on the enemy's deck. Among them 
was Lord Reginald, who, regardless of danger, burned 
to distinguish himself. The gallant boatswain led another 
party, hastily collected on the main-deck. Richard Har- 
grave, on hearing the boatswain's summons, and finding 
that ammunition was no longer required on his side, left 
his station and joined them. Two stout planks had been 
thrust through the Frenchman's second bow port. By 
this means the boatswain's party forced their way, for 
the gun which filled the port, having been dismounted, 
allowed them ingress. 

With cheers and. shouts the British seamen, led by 
the captain, leaping down on the Frenchman's deck, with 
pistols flashing and cutlasses hewing and hacking, quickly 
drove their enemies aft. As they reached the main 
hatchway, many of the latter, unable to resist the im- 
petus of the onslaught, sprang down below, where they 

148 The Rival Crusoes, 

were met by the boatswain's party, who, sweeping along 
the fore part of the deck, quickly cleared it. Still a 
determined band resisted. A marine was on the point 
of running his bayonet into the breast of Lord Reginald, 
when the captain cut down the man. In vain the 
Frenchmen attempted to resist. Foot by foot they were 
driven back, until the cry rose from an officer on the 
quarter-deck of "We surrender." At the same time he 
lifted a lantern above his head, as a signal which all 
might understand. 

" Lay down your arms, then !" cried Captain Moubray, 
'' and no more blows shall be struck." 

The boatswain, with Richard Hargrave and others, 
were still using their cutlasses with deadly effect, the 
shouts and cries of the Frenchmen, as they endeavoured 
to withstand them, preventing all other sounds from being 

Before advancing towards the French commanding 
officer, to receive his sword. Captain Aloubray sent Lord 
Reginald and a party of men below to stop the slaughter. 
He sprang do\vn in time to see Dick Hargrave and two 
other men engaged in a fierce combat with three French- 
men, who, ignorant of what had taken place above, were 

still holding out 

" You mutinous rascals ! " exclaimed Lord Reginald 

to Dick and his companions ; " didn't you hear the 
captain's orders to desist from fighting? The frigate has 
struck, and is our prize." 

Then shouting to the Frenchmen in their own language 
he told them what had occurred, when immediately 
dropping the points of their weapons, they sprang back, 
to be out of reach of the British seamen's cutlasses. 

The British Victorious, 149 

"I am not a mutinous rascal," exclaimed Dick, turn- 
ing to Lord Reginald; " I didn't know that the Frenchmen 
had given in." 

"How dare you speak to me in that way?" exclaimed 
the young lord, even at that moment not forgetting his 
enmity towards Dick. "Lookout for the consequences!" 

He then shouted to Mr. Bitts, and in another minute 
the fighting, which had gone on for so many hours, 

altogether ceased. Both decks presented a terrible 
spectacle. In all directions lay the bodies of dead and 
dying men. Many had already passed away, others were 
writhing in agony, while the surgeon's attendants, regard- 
less of what was going on around, were employed in 
carrying below those to whom assistance might be of 
use. One lieutenant alone stood on the quarter-deck. 

Captain Moubray, advancing among the bodies of his 
late foes, inquired for the French captain. The lieutenant 
pointed to a form which lay near the wheel, covered with 
a flag. 

*' The captain of the Thesbe—ih^ ship I yield to you- 
lies there," he answered, presenting the hilt of his sword. 
'•There lies the first lieutenant, and there the second, 
and I, the third, am in command." 

"I return your sword to as brave a man as I can 
ever hope to meet You have fought your ship with 
the greatest gallantry. Englishmen cannot desire to 
encounter more noble foes," said Captain Moubray, re- 
turning the sword, which the lieutenant, taking, sheathed 
with a deep sigh. 

Indeed, out of a crew of between four and five 
hundred men, upwards of a hundred had been killed, 
and nearly the same number wounded, while the frigate's 

150 The Rival Crusoes. 

hull was fearfully shattered, her bulwarks were torn away 
— she was a mere wreck. 

Captain Moubray, returning to his ship, sent a prize 
crew on board under the command of Mr. Jager, the 
second lieutenant, who had with him Lord Reginald, 
Voules, and Paddy Logan, and forty men, Richard Har- 
grave being among the number. 

It was no easy matter to clear the ships, so firmly had 
the Wolfs anchor hooked on through the Thesbis port. 
It was at last, however, freed. Scarcely had the two 
ships separated, than down came the Thesb^s foremast, 
narrowly escaping falling across the bows of the Wolf. 

In an action lasting the best part of six hours, the 
Wolf herself had suffered severe damage. The third 
lieutenant, the second lieutenant of marines, a midship- 
man, and ten seamen were killed, and nearly fifty officers 
and men wounded. 

She had lost her mizzenmast, and her other masts and 
several of her yards were injured. Her sails and rigging 
were cut to pieces. So numerous were the shot-holes in 
her hull, that the carpenter and his mates were unable to 
stop them until she had three and a half feet of water in 
her hold. A portion of her diminished crew was sent to 
the pumps, while every officer, man and boy, was em- 
ployed in fishing the masts and spars, knotting and 
splicing the rigging, and shifting the sails. The two ships 
lay close together, drifting with the tide. The prize was 
won, but it was a question whether she would be kept. 
They were close in with the French coast; and should 
any other of the enemy's ships be in the neighbourhood, 
it was certain that they would be sent to look after the 
combatants. Mr. Jager and his prize crew had work 

Battered State of the Ships. 151 

enough to do to keep the Thesbe afloat, to heave the dead 
overboard, to attend to the wounded. The surgeons 
laboured away all night in amputating arms and legs, and 
binding up the limbs of those most injiu*ed. Not only 
was the cockpit crowded, but every cabin was full of 
wounded men. The greater part of the prisoners were 
of course removed on board the Wolf^ but a few were 
retained to assist in working the pumps and attending to 
the wounded. 

While the carpenters were engaged in.stopping the shot- 
holes — through which the water was rushing with a rapidity 
sufficient in a short time to carry the prize to the bottom 

•it was impossible to attempt repairing other damages. 

When morning broke, a shattered, blood-stained hull 
lay floating, with her victor watching near her. An anxious 
look-out was kept for any sail which might appear. Should 
a single frigate be seen. Captain Moubray and his officers 
resolved to fight their ship and defend their prize to the 

No ont thought oi resting, Mr. Bitts piped his call, 
until, as Paddy Logan observed, " it seemed mighty 
curious that he had any wind left in his body." - 

The frigate's crew laboured on, until many were ready 
to drop with fatigue. All knew that not a moment was 
to be lost Another contingency might occur, besides the 
appearance of an enemy of superior force ; a northerly 
gale might spring up, and drive the disabled frigates on 
the French coast. Happily, the masts of the Wolf yrere 
secured, the rigging repaired, and fresh sails bent, and the 
wind coming from the southward, she took her prize in 
tow, and shaped a course across the channel for Plymouth. 


On board tlie prize — Ben gives bad advice — A strange llne-of-battle 
ship — Friend or foe ? — The Wolf and her prize reach Plymouth 
— Not allowed to go ashore — Peter Purkiss — Dick deserts — 
Homeward bound — Visit to the smuggler's wife — Reception at 
the farm — Dick recognized by Lord Reginald and Voules^ — Fear 
of being retaken — Dick leaves home — Captured and ^sent on 
board a cutter. 

HE Wolf^ with a fair breeze, having her prize in 
towj shaped a course for Plymouth. The wind 
though favourable was light, and should it con- 
tinue so, it would be some time before she could reach 
her destination. It was fortunate, however, that the sea 

was smooth, as it enabled the carpenters the more easily 
to get at the numerous shot-holes in the sides of the prize, 
and to stop the water coming in, which it had been doing 
at a rapid rate, making it necessary to keep the pumps 
constantly going. This was hard work for the prize crew, 
for the few Frenchmen left on board, though they did not 
refuse to go to the pumps, worked listlessly, and very 
soon knocked off, declaring that they could work no more. 
The British seamen had therefore to work away until they 
could stand no longer. 

Lord Reginald strikes Dick. 153 

Lieutenant Jager, commanding the prize, had sent Lord 
Reginald and Voules to see that the crew at the pumps 
were persevering in their labours. Among them his eye 
fell on Ben Rudall and Richard Hargrave, who had 
both been working away for some time until their arms 


"Spell oh !" cried Ben. 

"Spell oh!" echoed Dick, in order that some other 
tnen might come and help them. 

" Keep at your work, you idle rascals 1 " cried Lord 


" I am not an ' idle rascal/ " answered Ben, leaving the 
pump and folding his arms ; " I have been working for 
two hours, and can work no longer until I have had some 

Dick, who could really work no longer, a*jd was well- 
nigh ready to drop to the deck, also knocked ofF, though 

he said nothing. 

Lord Reginald's anger was aroused in a moment. 
Seizing a rope, he struck Dick across the shoulders. "Go 
back, both of you ! " he exclaimed ; " we can have no 
skulking on board here." 

" I am not skulking," answered Dick, again seizing the 
pump handle and working away as hard as his strength 
would allow. 

"Do you dare to answer me?" exclaimed the young 
lord, striking Dick. 

Ben stood still, fixing his eye on the midshipman, who, 
though he flourished the rope, did not strike him, and 
Ben, with a look which showed the ill feelings aroused in 
his bosom, returned to the pump. 

Lord Reginald stood by, Avatching them until the whole 

154 The Rival Crusoes. 

gang, utterly unable to work longer, were relieved by 
fresh hands. 

" Let me see that you fellows keep at it longer and 
better than the last have done," he said. 

" That's what we get for working our lives out," 
growled Ben, as he and his shipmates staggered forward 
and threw themselves down to rest. " It's just as well 
he did not strike me, or something might have come of 
it If I were you, Dick, I wouldn't stand it ; I'd give 
him as good in return. He can but hang one, and that 
would be better than leading a dog's life on board this 

" He might flog you round the fleet, which would be 
something worse than hanging," observed an old man-of- 
war's man, who had overheard Ben. " You wouldn't like 

that. I've a notion, mate, that it's wiser to grin and bear 
it, and hope for better times." 

" I do hope for better times," said Ben, addressing 
Dick, when no one else was within hearing. " I'll tell you 
what, lad ; I'd advise you to give them leg-bail, if you 
have the chance. That's what I've made up my mind 
to, as soon as we get into port ; they're sure not to keep 
a strict look-out, and, as usual, crowds of people will be 
coming on board to visit the ships. Tom Harris was 
right J keep your temper, as you did just now. To 
strike an officer, even though he strikes you first, is a 
serious matter, and I was wrong in advising it But 
though, if you desert and are caught, you run the risk 
of a flogging, the chances are you'll escape, for they'll 
not take the trouble of sending after you if you can once 
get off into the country.'* 

** I'll think about it," said Dick. " I can't bear being 

Voules reports Dick, 155 

struck by that young lord, or by any one else ; and if he 
treats me as he has done before, I cannot answer for 
keeping my temper." 

The conversation was put an end to by the whole gang 
being ordered back to the pumps. The carpenters were 
gradually getting the leaks stopped, and before night the 
crew were able with less difficulty to keep the water 
under. Fresh hands were sent on board to attempt 
getting up jurymasts, in case the Wolf should be com- 
pelled to cast off the prize. It was still doubtful whether 
they would reach the port in safety. An enemy might 
at any moment appear, and not only retake the prize, 
but themselves. A single frigate would prove a serious 
antagonist to the Wolf in her present battered and dis- 
abled condition. 

During the night the breeze increased slightly, and .the 
two frigates made better progress. Lord Reginald had 
told Voules of Hargrave's impudence, as he called it, and 
the midshipman had reported it to Mr. Jager, 

" If we have mutinous behaviour among our own crew, 
we shall have the Frenchmen rising upon us," observed 
the lieutenant. " You must keep an eye, Voules, on 
those fellows, and put down that spirit of insubordination." 

" A flogging would do that lad Hargrave good," ob- 
served Voules, "and that old smuggler richly deserves 

one also." 

Voules, believing that it would please Lord Reginald, 
kept a watchful eye on both Dick and Ben, hoping that 
they would give him the opportunity of reporting them- 
Twice finding Dick moving slowly, as he considered^ 
about his duty, he started him with a rope's end. Several 
of the other men, knowing that he was no longer under 

156 The Rival Crusoes. 

the protection of the boatswain, took the opportunity of 
bullying him in a variety of ways. Ben did not interfere, 
his object being evidently to disgust him with the service. 
Fortunately for Dick, however, his persecutors had no 
time to annoy him when below, for, fatigued with their 
work, the moment they turned in they fell asleep. Ail 
hands, indeed, were employed from morning until night 
in clearing the ship of water, getting up jurymasts and 
repairing the worst damages, so that there might be a 
chance of keeping her afloat should bad weather come 
on. Hitherto but little progress had been made. All 
the sail which tiie Wolf could carry was set. The prize 
was at length able to help herself by hoisting a small 
amount of canvas. A very sharp watch was kept for the 
appearance of any strange sail. 

At length, early on the second morning, the look-out 
from the masthead of the Wolf shouted, " A sail in the 
south-west ! " 

The first lieutenant went aloft to have a look at her. 
On his return to the deck, he reported that she was a 
large ship, standing on a course which would soon bring 
her up to them. It was difficult, at that distance, to say 
whether she was a frigate or a line-of battle ship. 

*'We must steer as we are," observed Captain Mou- 
bray. " Whatever she is, we must fight her." 

He then hailed the prize, directing Lieutenant Jager to 
get all the guns he could ready for use, so that he might 
be able to take a part in the fight, should it be necessary. 

He was, however, to do his best to escape, while the 
Wolf engaged the stranger. 

The French officers on deck eagerly watched the ship 
coming up. As her topsails rose above the horizon, 

The Strmger approaches, 157 

various opinions were expressed about her. Some thought 
that she might be the leading ship of a French squadron ; 
others that she was a British man-of-war. As, however, 
she drew nearer, no other vessels were seen astern of 
her. One after the other the officers went aloft, to try 
and discover her character. She was soon pronounced 
to be a seventy-four, at least The Frenchmen became 
highly elated, having fully persuaded themselves that she 
was a French line-of-battle ship. 

"Never mind, my friend," said one of them, "you 
have treated us well ; we hope soon to have an oppor- 
tunity of showing our gratitude." 

" Much obliged to you," answered the first lieutenant, 
to whom the observation was made. " It is not settled 
beyond doubt that yonder ship belongs to your nation. 
There is something about the cut of her canvas whicli 
tells me that she is an English line-of-battle ship. If 
she's an enemy, we intend to fight her, and, \£ we can, 
enable our prize to escape." 

" Morbleu ! " exclaimed the Frenchman. " One might 
suppose that you rarely capture a prize, you seem so 
anxious to retain the one you have now got." 

On board the prize, all the preparations which could 
possibly be made were carried out. Such guns as were 
uninjured were loaded, fresh tackles rove. Her hard- 
worked crew recovered their spirits, and even Ben, for 
a time, ceased to growl. Still, considering the battered 
state of both ships, there seemed every probability, should 
the stranger turn out to be an enemy, that they must 
fall into her hands ; and that a French prison would be 
their destination, instead of the triumphant reception 
they expected to meet at home, and the prize-money 
with which they hoped to fill their pockets. 

158 The Rival Crusoes, 

" It would be a great bore if that fellow does turn out 
to be a Frenchman," observed Voules to Lord Reginald, 
** I was in hopes that you would be able to get leave to 
pay another visit to Elverston Hall. It would be a great 

pleasure to accompany you." 

" Of course, my dear fellow, I shall be delighted, as 

my father gives me leave to bring any friends I Hke ; 
though it appeared to me that you got rather tired at 
last, or you wouldn't have taken to dangling after the 
ladies in the curious fashion you did." 

" Tired ! Oh dear no ! their delightful society was 
sufficient attraction. I was never happier in my life." 

"Well, the honest truth is, my brother John told me 
that he thought you spent too much of your time with 
them, and he made one or two other remarks which I 
don't wish to repeat. You'll take the hint, should you 
go there again. However, instead of that, we may pos- 
sibly have to spend the next few months at Verdun, or 
some other delectable place in France. I suppose they 
won't shut us up in the Eastile, or treat us as Napoleon 
did Captain Wright?" 

" Oh, don't talk of that !" cried Voules. «We must 
hope that yonder ship will prove to be a friend ; for 
though the captain may resolve to fight her, should she 
be an enemy, we must inevitably suffer severely, even if 
we escape capture." 

As the stranger drew nearer and nearer, the excitement 
on board increased. The countenances of the French- 
men at length, however, began to look blank. Then, as 
the glorious flag of England blew out from the peak of 
the stranger, a cheer rose from the deck of the Wolfy 
which was taken up by that of the prize. 

Plymouth reached. 159 

Signals were exchanged. The British ship made her 
number, the Triumphy seventy-four, Captain Sir Thomas 
Hardy, one of the noblest officers in the British service. 
Drawing nearer, and directing the frigate to cast off, he 
took the prize in tow, and all three ships proceeded to- 
gether, as had previously been intended, to Plymouth. 
Having arrived at the mouth of the harbour, the Wolf 
once more took charge of her prize, while the Triumph 
again stood out to sea on her cruise. Cheers saluted the 
^^as she proceeded through the narrow entrance to 
Hamoze, and scarcely had she dropped her anchor than 
numberless boats were alongside, containing people of all 
ranks, eager to hear an account of her victory. As soon 
as the prisoners and wounded had been sent on shore, the 
decks of the prize were crowded with visitors, and the 
Frenchmen lost no credit when it was seen to what a state 
she had been reduced before they yielded. 

Ben found several old friends, with whom he had many 
long talks, though what they were about Dick did not 
hear. The prize agents took charge of the captured 
frigate, and her crew returned on board their own ship. 
Battered as was the prize, she sold for a good sum, and 
was bought in by the Government. Then came pay day, 
and many a golden guinea jingled in the victors' pockets, 
though with most they did not jingle there long. Leave 
being given to as many as could be spared to go on shore, 
scarcely had the poor fellows landed than they were set 
upon by harpies of every description, whose object was 
to extract the said golden guineas, which Jack — not 
knowing what to do with — was willing enough to throw 
away. Some of the brave heroes might have been 
seen driving about in a coach and four, crowding the 

i6o The Rival Crusoes, 

vehicle inside and out, with bottles and mugs on the roof, 
cheering as they went Others might have been met 
with parading the streets, bedecked with pinchbeck 
watches and chains, which they had. purchased under the 
belief that they were pure gold \ seldom without a com- 
panion of the other sex on their arm, dressed out in the 
fmery their money had bought. The dancing saloons and 
grog shops were crowded, few troubling themselves as to 
how the seamen were employed, provided that they re- 
turned on board in due time with empty pockets, ready to 
fight the battles of Old England, and win more prize- 
money, to be expended in the same senseless fashion. 

The crew of the Wolf had been turned over to a hulk, 
while the dockyard people took possession of her to repair 
the numerous damages she had received, with orders to 
proceed with all possible despatch. 

General leave had of course not been granted, for 
many of the crew who had lately joined could not, it was 
considered, very justly be trusted : the smugglers, the jail- 
birds, the pressed men, and the boys. A certain number 
of old hands, together with the ever-faithful marines, were 
retained on board to watch them. Grumbling was of 
course the order of the day. 

Ben, being among those who could not obtain leave, 
was loud in his complaints. He vowed that leave he 
would have, though it might be French leave. " It is 
hard that a steady man, who never got drunk, and always 
did his duty from the time he stepped on board, should 
not be allowed to go on shore to send off his prize-money 
to his wife 1 " he exclaimed. 

People still came off in considerable numbers every 
evening, to see the victorious frigate ; and although when 

Dick deserts, l6i 

the workmen were about they could not go on her deck, 
they could see her from the hulk. 

" Now is your time, Dick," said Ben, one evening when 
the decks were more than usually crowded. " Here's an 
old chum of mine alongside, Peter Purkiss; he'll take us 
ashore and will rig us in smock-frocks and gaiters, to look 
for all the world like countrymen. You slip first into his 
boat, and as soon as it's dark 111 follow ; well then start 
away out ol the town, and by the morning we shall be a 
long stretch off, my boy ; no fear of being caught then." 

Dick hesitated ; he had often thought that if properly 
treated he should like the service. The step his evil 
counsellor advised would be fatal to all his best aspira- 

"Do as you like," said Ben ; "depend upon it that Lord 

Reginald won't rest until he has seen you and the cat make 

At that moment Dick caught sight of the young lord 


talking to Voules. They did not observe him, but he 
thought that there was something sinister in the ex- 
pression of their countenances. " They shan't catch me, 
as they fancy they will," he said to himself. He no longer 
hesitated. Several persons were descending the side; 
going down to the main-deck, he slipped through a port 
into the boat Ben had pointed out. 

"Where is your shipmate Ben?" asked the old boat- 

" He said that he was coming as soon as it was dark," 
answered Dick. 

Several other people from the shore got into the boat, 
and ordered old Peter to land them without delay. Dick 
every moment expected to be discovered and to hear a 

1 62 The Rival Crtisoes. 

hail ordering him back, but no one had observed him, 
and he was soon landed. 

" Now, lad," said the old man, " I'll take you to my 
house, as I promised. Ben will no doubt come next trip. 
You must be smart, though, lest we should meet any of 
your officers." 

As it was growing dusk Dick hoped not to be seen, 
and soon reached a house not far from the water's edge. 
The boatman, taking him into a small room, produced a 
carter's frock and gaiters, with a billycock hat and a large 
red handkerchief to tie round his throat 

" Put on these duds, and keep close until I come back, 
when you and Ben may start together," said old Purkiss, 
as he left him to return to his boat 

" Maybe he'll find it a harder matter to slip away than 
I did," said Dick to himself, " and if he doesn't come, I 
shall look foolish. Still, I have no fancy to go back and 
be bullied by that Lord Reginald and his toady Voules." 

Dick waited some hours; at last old Purkiss came 

" Poor Ben's in for it," he said. " He was just slipping 
down the side when the master-at-arms laid hands on 
him, and I'm afraid he's in limbo and very little chance 
of getting out of it until the ship goes to sea. "Whether 
or not he thought something of the sort might happen, I 
don't know, but he gave me these ten guineas which he 
wants you to take to his wife. It won't do, however, for 
you to stay longer here, unless you wish to go back and 
be flogged to a certainty for attempting to desert. I'd 
advise you to cut and run this very night Now, lad, fair 
play's a jewel. I am helping you off, and I expect to be 
paid for what I'm doing, as well as for the clothes I got 

Old Peter s advice, 163 

for 3*ou. A five-pound note will satisfy me, though it 
wouldn't if you were not a chum of my old shipmate 

Dick paid the money without hesitation, for he knew 
that old Purkiss might have fleeced him, had he be^n so 
disposed, oi every sixpence in his pocket. 

"Now we are clear," said the old man, who prided 
himself on his honesty, " and I want to give you a piece of 
advice, which mind you stick to. Don't show your cash 
to any one, or you'll be robbed and murdered maybe. 
I'll give you change for a guinea in sixpences and coppers; 
don't show too many of them either ; better by f^r pay in 
coppers for the food you want, and sleep under haystacks 
or in bams until you reach home. You may get a lift in 
a cart or waggon, but don't let anybody know you've 
been on board a man-of-war. Just say you've been down 
to see an old friend, Peter Purkiss, and that's true for the 

most part, and that you are going home again to your 
father and mother. Now, lad, it's time to be oif. I'll 
put you in the way out of the town, and when once you 
are in the country strike away north-east. You've got 
Dartmoor to cross, and as it's a wildish tract, I'd advise 
you to get a lift if you can until you are over it. If you 

can't get a lift, don't attempt to cross it at night, or you 
may lose yourself." 

Peter, who was a good-natured old fellow, though his 
morality was not of the strictest order, gave Dick a hearty 
supper, then, taking a thick stick in hand, started off with 
him, walking at a rapid pace until they reached the con- 
fines of Plymouth — a much smaller town in those days 
than it is at present. Dick then, having received direc- 
tions from tlie old man as to the road he was to take, 

1 64 The Rival Crtcsoes. 

commenced what he had made up his mind would be a 
long tramp homewards. 

He was strong and active, and had not been long 
enough at sea to lose his shore legs. The night being 
clear, he was able to see the road, and he knew by the 
position of the Great Eear, which he always kept on his 
left hand, that he was going in the right direction. The 
dread he felt of being overtaken by a pressgang, or by the 
seamen of his own ship, whom he thought might be sent 
in pursuit, made him walk all the faster. It was with 
difficulty indeed at first that he restrained himself from 
breaking into a run; but he guessed rightly that he would 
thus be more likely to be stopped by any one who might 
meet him, and he restrained himself, continuing on only 
at a rapid walk. Every now and then, however, he turned 
his head over his shoulder, fancying that he heard foot- 
steps, expecting to find himself seized and carried back 
to be ignominiously flogged — a fate he well knew would 
be in store for him, should he be caught 

He was not, however, very well contented with him- 
self. He was perfectly aware of the light in which the 
crime of desertion was regarded \ and that he was aban- 
doning all hopes of rising in the service, for which he 
had always had a liking, notwithstanding the way Ben 
had abused it. He had sufficient discernment to dis- 
tinguish the good, true-hearted seamen from the bad, and 
he had observed that the former were well treated and 
looked on with respect by their officers. Then the 
recollection of the way Lord Reginald and Toady Voules 
had behaved to him would occur. ** If it hadn't been 
for them, and others like them, I should have been happy 
enough on board, and willing to do my duty," he ex- 

The Village Inn, 165 

claimed. "I should have got on very well with Mr. 
Bitts, for he was always kind in his way, and wanted to 
make a seaman of me ; and I should have been one, for 
he was ready to show me how to do everything I wanted 
to learn. However, it's all past now, and I must go back 
to the plough. I must take care, though, that Mr. 
Gooch doesn't hear of my being at home again, or he 

will be down upon me, I suspect that father will be 
afraid of that, and will be sending me off to a farm away 
from home, so that, after all, I shall not be with him 
and mother and Janet. I've half a mind even now to 
go back again — but then there's this flogging, and Lord 
Reginald would be down upon me more than ever ; and 
what would Ben say ? and old Purkiss would get it for 
helping me off." 

Such were some of Dick's meditations as he trudged 
on during the night, making good about four miles an 
hour, so that he was nearly thirty miles away from 
Plymouth when morning broke. He still walked on 
until he came \o a, roadside inn, where, feeling very 
hungry, he stopped for breakfast. While the landlady 
was cooking some eggs and bacon, he fell asleep, with 

his head on the table. 

" What ails you, lad ? " said the woman, as she placed 
the smoking hot dish near him, and shook him by the 
shoulder. " It's not the time o' day people who have 
had a night's rest take to sleeping." 

"But I haven't had a night's rest," answered Dick, 
rousing himself. " I have been walking on all the morn- 
ing; but I am more hungry than sleepy, so I thank 
you for the eggs and bacon, and would be glad of a jug 
of ale to wash them down," 

1 66 The Rival Crtisoes, 

The landlady, still looking at him somewhat suspi- 
ciously — detecting, perhaps, the seaman's shirt below his 
frock — placed the ale before him. From the questions 
she put to him, Dick thought that she guessed who he 
was, and deemed it prudent to again set off. Recollect- 
ing Peter's advice, he produced sixpence to pay for his 
breakfast, and then at once took his leave. For another 
hour or more he trudged on, until he became so weary 
that he could scarcely move. He saw a haystack a 
short distance from the road, inviting him to rest beneath 
it Hardly had he thrown himself down on the lee side, 
away from the public path, than he was fast asleep. 

It was late in the afternoon before he awoke, when 
he continued his journey, stopping only at the first inn 
he came to that he might obtain some food. He at 
length reached Exeter, but as he saw seamen moving 
about and ships in the distance, he was afraid of stopping 
there, and, passing through it, he again found himself in 
the country. 

Many a v/eary mile he trudged on. What might be 
in store for him he could not tell, but anything would 
be better than going back. Puzzling questions were 
often asked him, and he ran, on several occasions, great 
risk of being detected. His sun-burnt countenance and 
seaman's roll, which he had already acquired, often 
nearly betrayed him. 

As he approached his home, the anxiety to get safely 
to his journey's end increased. At length, passing through 
Christchurch, he recognized the familiar scenery of his 
native district The high white cliffs of the Isle of 
Wight, the Needle rocks below them, and the tall light- 
house of Hurst, with its cheesclike castle, bathed in a 

Dick reaches Stisaii^s Cottage. 167 

rich glow from the rays of the setting sun. He sat down 
on the top of the cUff, and considered — while he ate some 
bread and cheese he had obtained at his last stopping- 
place — in wliich direction he should bend his steps. 
Longing as he did to go home, he was anxious to fulfil 
Ben's commission by delivering the money entrusted to 
him for Susan. He decided to do this first 

" She'll be longing, poor woman ! to hear of her hus- 
band j and it won't make much difierence to father and 
mother whether I get home an hour or two later." 

Having come to this resolution, he hurried on, wishing 
to reach Keyhaven soon after dark, as he had no desire 
to be seen by any one. He reached Susan's cottage. 

" Who's there ? " asked a voice from within, in reply 
to his knock. 

" Open the door, and I'll tell you,*' he answered 

Susan herself admitted him, though he would scarcely 
have known her, so pale and wan did she look. She did 
not know him, and he had to tell her who he was. She 
then began to make inquiries about " her good man." 

Dick had no very satisfactory account to give. All 
he could say was that Ben had intended to desert and 
come home, but that in all probability he had been 
caught and kept on board. " He did not forget you, 
however," said Dick, presenting ten guineas to the poor 

At the sight of the money Susan's countenance 
brightened. " Bless him ! he was always kind and ready 
to give when he had it ; but it is the last, I much fear, 
I shall ever get from him I " she exclaimed, and then 
burst into tears. 

** I hope not," said Dick. '* The ship will be paid off 

1 68 The Rival Crusoes. 

some day, and then he will be able to come home, with 
plenty more in his pocket. I have sometimes wished 
that I had stopped, but he advised me to run with him ; 
and it might have been better if I had been caught, and 
he got away." 

" It cannot be helped, Dick," said Susan, inclined to 
take the matter very philosophically ; " though when the 
ten guineas are gone — and they can't last for ever — I 
don't know what I shall do. If it hadn't been for them, 
I should have been in the workhouse next week." 

" I must tell my mother about you," said Dick ; ''may- 
be she'll send some food for you and the children." 

" Your mother will be a long way off, Dick. You haven't 
heard, maybe, that they are going to leave the farm next 
week, and have taken one the other side of Christchurch. 
Your father, after all, accepted Lord Elverston's offer, 
though it was what my good man always said he would 
not do if he was in his place, and the farm is to be taken 
into the park. It was a sore trial to your father and mother, 
but after you went they seemed not to care what became 
of them." 

"And Janet ! Have5^ou heard how she is ?" asked Dick, 

" She's better than she was, and it is said she's at the 
bottom of the matter." 

** How's that?" asked Dick, somewhat astonished. 

" Why, Lady Elverston, who is a very kind lady — and 
even those who don't like my lord confess that — was very 
often at your cottage, and one day she told your mother 
that she thought Janet's sight might be restored. She 
promised to take her up to London to a doctor of some 
sort, who makes blind people see, they say. So it is all 

Home reached. 169 

arranged, and after that your father gave in. As soon as 
they move to their new home, Janet is to go up with my 

Dick could scarcely believe what he heard, and was 
now, naturally enough, in a greater hurry than ever to get 

home. He promised, if he could manage it, to come 
back and see Mrs. Rudall again. 

In better spirits than he had been for some time, he set 
off on his walk home. He had not much fear of being 
recognized, since Susan had failed to know him. He 
therefore took the shortest road. Seeing a light beaming 
through the window, he guessed that his father and mother 
were still up. The door, however, was bolted. He 
knocked loudly, crying out, " Let me in ! let me in ! " 

" Oh, that's Dick ! " he heard Janet exclaim. 

The door was hastily opened, and in another minute 
he was in his mother's arms. 

" Where do you come from ? " asked his father, some- 
what sternly. " You have given us all a great fright about 
you since we found that letter which you left in your room ; 
and the rumours we heard did little to allay it" 

Dick expressed his contrition, declaring that he had 
acted for the best, and then gave, as briefly as he could, 
an account of himself up to the present time. 

" No man must do evil that good may come of it, and 
in this case I don't see that any good has come of it," said 
his father. " You leagued yourself with smugglers and got 
pressed in consequence, and now you have run from your 
ship, perhaps to be seized and carried back as a deserter." 

" But I must take care not to be seized, and am ready to 
stop and work with you, father. I deserted because I 
was forced to serve against my will, though I found the 

170 The Rival Crusoes. 

life on board not so bad as I expected, and if it hadn't 
been for tfie bullying I got from Lord Reginald and that 
other midshipman, I would have remained where I was." 

Mrs. Hargrave and Janet now took Dick's part, and his 
father was ultimately pacified, though, as he said, it went 
against the grain to have a son of his called a deserter, 
however ill he might have been treated. Dick found that 
the account Susan had given him about Janet was correct ; 
that she was shortly to accompany Lady Elverston to 
London, to be put under a celebrated oculist, and to 
undergo the operation of couching. 


" Bless her ladyship's heart for her kindness I " said Mrs. 

" We have not many days to remain here, and I must 
have you stay in-doors, lest you should be seen by any 

who have an ill will against you, Dick/' observed his 

" I don't think they would know me any more than 
Susan Rudall did when I paid her a visit," answered 

Dick. " I'd rather not be boxed up in the house, ii I can 
help it. I should soon fall sick after being accustomed to 
the sea air so long." 

" Better remain in-doors at home than be locked up in 
a prison," observed his father. " It is a sad thing for me 
to have to say it, but remember, Dick, you have made 
yourself liable to that, and it will be wiser for you to 
remain in hiding until we go to our new farm and people 
have forgotten all about you." 

Dick did not longer argue the point, but he made no 
promises. His mother, observing how weary he was, 
and that he could scarcely keep his eyes open, suggested 
that he should go to bed; and gladly acting on the advic 


An Unpleasant Encotmter. 171 

he staggered off to his room, which remained exactly as 
he had left it. 

Dick took a day to recover from his fatigue and, after 
that, shut up in his room, be began to find the time 
pass heavily away. His mother was engaged in house- 
hold affairs, and in preparing for the removal, while his 
father was absent from home until late in the evening, 
having to make more than one trip to the new farm. 
Janet came and sat with him frequently. She was in 
good spirits at the anticipation of recovering her sight, 
about which she was very sanguine. Still Dick pined for 
fresh air. "You ought to get out," he said to Janet, 

"instead of sitting all day shut up here. I'll chance it; 
put on your shawl and bonnet ; we are not likely to meet 
any one, and if we do they'll not interfere with us." 

Janet, without further consideration, forgetting her 
father's warning, agreed, and she leaning on Dick's arm, 
they took their way down a green lane in which she 
especially delighted, and which turned off near the house. 
She knew that scarcely any one passed that way, as she 
had frequently gone along it alone, with her dog to guide 
her. Tempted by the pleasantness of the evening, they 
went on for some distance, through a forest glade. 

" We ought to be going back," said Janet at length, 
"for I feel the air damp, though you don't find it out, 
Dick, and I know that the sun must have set" 

" There will be plenty of light for me to see my way 
home," answered Dick ; " but we will turn, as you wish it" 

They had not got far on their way back, when Janet 
felt Dick give a start, and she heard the sound of horses' 
approaching at a quick pace. 

*' What do you see ? " she asked* 


172 The Rival Crusoes, 

Dick did not answer j he was looking about to find some 
place of concealment. Had he been alone he could 
easily have hid himself, but he could not leave Janet. 
The horsemen approached rapidly. Dick tried to walk 
on in an unconcerned manner. In another minute they 
were up to him, and he saw Lord Reginald and Mr. 
Voules. He felt sure that they recognized him, for he saw 
the latter turn to the young lord and make some remark, 
though, possibly on Janet's account, he did not speak 
sufficiently loud to allow what he said to be heard. They 
both, however, stared very hard, and then passed on, 
allowing Dick and his sister to proceed on their way. 

" Who are those persons ? " asked Janet. 

Dick told her, but, not wishing to alarm her, observed, 
" If they knew me, they didn't think it worth while to 
interfere. I don't suppose any harm will come of it." 

Janet, however, became very anxious. " As they are 
officers of the ship you ran away from, they'll think it 
right to take you. Oh, Dick ! you must try and hide 

where they can't find you. It would be dreadful to have 
you carried off again ! " 

" Don't tell father and mother, then ; it will frighten 

them, and I'll see what's best to be done. Both these 


fellows hate me, and I don't suppose they will let me 
remain in quiet They were afraid of attempting to seize 

me, for they knew well that they would have found it a 
tough job." 

It did not occur to Dick that he enjoyed his safety at 
the moment from being in company with his blind sister, 

as Lord Reginald, at all events, was unwilling to interfere 
with him. 

Janet, in her eagerness to get home, almost dragged 

A Second Flight from Home, 173 

Dick along, and he felt her arm tremble as she thought 
of the danger to which he was exposed. According to 
his wish, she said nothing to her mother of the encounter. 
Mr, Hargrave was not expected home until late. Dick 
had been thinking of what he should do. As soon as he 

had had supper, Janet having gone to her room, he 
jumped up, saying' 

" Alother ! that young lord and his friend are at the 
hall, and they have seen me. They may not trouble 
themselves about me, but Fd rather not trust them. I'll 
go off and hide somewhere ; and if they send here, you 
can say that you don't know where I am. Tell father 
that I am sorry, very sorry, that he should be troubled so 

much about me j but it cannot be helped now. Those 
Xy^o midshipmen will be joining their ship soon. It won't 

be long before she's ready for sea again, and then I may 
go back to the new farm without fear. No one in that 
neighbourhood will know me, and I'll promise to work 
hard and make amends to you and father, and keep clear 
of smugglers in future." 

Mrs. Hargrave was naturally much grieved, but she 
had no other proposal to offer. She knew the angry 
feelings which existed between her son, and the young 
lord, and thought it best that they should not again run 
the risk of meeting. 

" But where do you intend going?" she asked. 

"That's the very thing I don't want you to know, 
mother," he answered. "You can now say honestly that 
I left home, and that you have no idea where I went to. 
Good-bye, give my love and duty to father." 

Mrs. Hargrave embraced Dick with tears in her eyes 
He ran in to wish Janet good-bye. 

174 ^-^^ Rival Crusoes, 

** I have told mother all about it," he said. " Keep up 
your spirits 1 no harm will come to me. I need only keep 
away for a week or two, and as soon as the ship sails, I 

shall be all safe." 

Janet was not so satisfied as her brother appeared to be 
on that point She threw her arms round his neck, and 
burst into tears. 

" Cheer up, cheer up I " said Dick, " I know I am a 
brute to have made you all so unhappy, but when I come 
home again I intend to turn over a new leaf." 

Janet held his hand. An indefinite fear of what might 
happen seized her. He tore himself away, half inclined 
to be angry with her and his mother, for making so much 
fuss about the matter, and rushed outside the house. He 
soon turned off the high road and hurried on along a path 
in the direction of Keyhaven. 

" I'll get Susan Rudall to stow me away. She'll be 
grateful to me for bringing her the money, and, as IVe got a 
few guineas in my pocket, I can pay her well for keeping 
me, and it will be an advantage to her," he said to him- 
self " I must take care that no one sees me going into 
her cottage, and I don't suppose the young lord or that 
fellow Voules will think of looking for me there." 

The night was dark, but Dick, who knew the way, ran 
on, stopping every now and then to listen if any one was 
approaching. He had got close to Keyhaven, when it 
became necessary to use more caution, as people who 
knew him might probably be about, and should an in- 
quiry be set on foot they might state that they had met 
him. He had almost reached Susan's cottage when, turning 
up an angle of the road, he found himself close to several 
men who were coming up it. He stopped, he could not go 

Recaptured, 175 

on without passing between them. Acting on the impulse 
of the moment, he turned and ran back, hoping to find 
some place where he might conceal himself until they had 

" Stop that fellow, whoever he is ! " shouted a voice, 
in an authoritative tone. 

A couple of men darted forward, and before Dick had 
got many paces away he found himself seized by the 

" Halloa, my fine fellow ! who are you ? and what are 
you about ? " asked one of the men. 

" I am going to visit a neighbour," answered Dick, 
trying to free himself. 

" You must come back to our officer first, and give an 
account of yourself," said the first speaker, whom Dick 
recognized as a man-of-war's man. 

Resistance was useless, and he made no further attempt 
to escape. The officer and the rest of the men soon 
came up, and Dick repeated the account he had given of 

" Very fine ! " was the answer ; " but you must come up 
to the station, and if Lieutenant Hilton knows you he 
will be able to state how far what you tell us is true." 

Dick, making no answer, walked on between his two 
captors. From what he could make out, the men belonged 
to a revenue cutter, which had dropped anchor off Hurst 
that evening, in consequence of information received of 
some smuggling work likely to take place in the neigh- 

"My ill luck 1 " thought Dick. "If it hadn't been for that 
I should have got down to Susan's without difficulty, and 
now, because I am known to have been on board the 

176 The Rival Crusoes. 

Nancy, they'll accuse me of being concerned in this matter, 
of which I never so much as heard, until this moment." 

Dick was perfectly right in his conjectures. Lieutenant 
Hilton, who had just returned from visiting the neighbour- 
ing posts, no sooner set eyes on Dick, than he exclaimed, 
" Why, that's young Hargrave, the very fellow Lord 
Reginald Oswald was speaking to me about, not an hour 
ago, a deserter from the Wbif^ a desperate young ruffian, 
by all accounts. I'll hand him over to you Mason, to 
carry on board your cutter, but you must take good care 
that he doesn't escape." 

The commander of the cutter laughed. " I'll clap him 
in irons, and he'll be clever if he gets his wrists out of 
them," he answered. 

Dick was led down to the beach by the cutter's crew, 
who at once pulled on board. Being hauled up the side 
without ceremony, he was handed down below, and a pair 
of handcuffs were placed on his wrists. 

" You've had a long run on shore, my lad, and it is to 
be hoped you enjoyed yourself," said the seaman who was 
fastening them on. "I wouldn't stand in your shoes for 
something, let me tell you. You've heard tell of Tim 
I^Iacarthy, who three times ran from his ship, and got 
hanged. You must look out that the same doesn't hap- 
pen to you if you play that trick again." 

Dick made no reply ; his spirit was so utterly broken 
that he could have burst into tears, had he not made a 
strong effort to restrain himself 

" They shan't see me play the woman, if I can help it," 
he said to himself; " but if ever I have the chance I'll 
make that Lord Reginald pay for it. If he hadn't in- 
formed against me, the chances are I should have got off. 

On Board the Cutter. 177 

He and his messmate hadn't the courage to stop me by 
themselves, and so they must needs gallop off and tell 
that lieutenant that they had seen me. What a fool I 
was to go down to Keyhaven, instead of striking away 
inland, where I should have been safe from them. Now, 
I suppose I shall be flogged and branded as a deserter, 
and perhaps be hung, as that fellow says. I shouldn't 
care if I had changed my name, I should not like to bring 
disgrace on my father and mother. It would break their 
hearts to know such had been my fate." 

These, and if possible, still more gloomy thoughts 
passed through Dick's mind, until, leaning his head against 
the side of the vessel, near which he had been placed, he 
fell off into a troubled slumber. 


Treatment of the prisoners — Chased by a privateer — The pressed 
men armed — The fight — Dick's gallantry — Capture of the lugger 
— Prize crew sent on board — Attempt of the Frenchmen to take 
the cutter — Dick Hargrave's presence of mind — Reception on 

board the frigate — Nearly flogged — Ben Rudairs statement— The 

captain's dilemma — Dick's gratitude. 

ICK was not the only occupant of the cutter's 
hold. There were several other men — some 
pressed, others : eleased from prison on condition 
of serving on board the fleet ; and these for security were 

kept down below, until they were placed on board the 
ships for which they were destined. Besides them there 
were a few volunteers, mostly young men, who had joined 
at the places at which the cutter had touched. 

Daylight was streaming down the hatchway when Dick 
awoke. The cutter was still at anchor. He knew that 
although he was so near home there was no chance of his 
friends learning where he was, and of their trying to obtain 
his release. His father he would rather not see. He 
made out, from the conversation going on around him, 
that the cutter was bound down to Plymouth, with men 

Dick recognized as a Dese7'ter, 1 79 

lor the Wolf^ to replace those who had been killed and 
wounded. If he had any wish, it was that the vessel 
would get under way. He was eager to face the worst, 
and get it over as soon as possible. A dull stupor at 
length came over him, and for long he sat neither asleep 
nor awake, without thinking. He could hear the tramp 
of feet overhead ; still the vessel remained stationary. He 
was aroused when the breakfast was served out to him 
and the other prisoners. He ate mechanically, exchang- 
ing only a few words with those near him, and then went 
off into the same state as before. At length he heard 
feet descending the companion ladder, and looking up, he 
saw the officer who had captured him holding a lantern 
in his hand, accompanied by two persons, whom he re- 
cognized as Lord Reginald and Mr. Voules. 

" Is that the young fellow, my lord, who deserted from 
the WolfV asked the officer. 

*' No doubt about it," answered Lord Reginald. " I*m 
glad you have caught him." 

" I should have known him from among a hundred," 
said Voules, " though he has got out of his sea rig. Take 
care that he doesn't get away from you. I should be 
sorry if he escapes the flogging he'll get on board ! " 

" You see I have him fast enough at present," answered 
the officer, pointing to the handcuffs on Dick's wrists. 
** He may be very clever, but he'll not get out of those in 
a hurry." 

The midshipmen looked round, but could identify no 
other prisoners as deserters from their ship. 

" I shall not sail until the tide makes to the westward ; 
so if your lordship intends to honour me by returning in 
the cutter to Plymouth, you will have time to go back to 

i8o The Rival Crtcsoes, 

Elverston and get your traps," Dick heard the lieutenant 
observe as they ascended the companion ladder; but the 
reply did not reach his ears. As the cutter remained 
stationary, he had good reason to fear that the two mid- 
shipmen would take a passage in her, and that he should 
be subjected to their taunts and ill-treatment, and have 
no chance of being set at liberty, which he might other- 
wise have had when they once got to sea. Whether or 
not he was right in his conjectures he could not tell. He 
heard several persons come on board ; then the anchor 
was hove up, and the cutter got under way. He would 

have given much to have sent a message on shore, but 
he had no opportunity, 

A fresh breeze carried the cutter along at a good rate. 
Before nightfall she was off Portland. Hitherto neither 
Lord Reginald nor Voules had come below. 

" I only hope they'll not show themselves, for it will be 
a hard matter to keep a quiet tongue in my head if they 
speak to me," thought Dick. " It will be all the same, 
though, for I shall be flogged to a certainty when I am on 
board again, and I should like to give them my mind 

Though below, Dick could judge pretty accurately what 
the cutter was about. She was evidently making little or 
no way, for he could hear not the slightest sound of a 
ripple against her side. She lay, indeed, becalmed, in 
West Bay, between Portland and The Start. It was night, 
and the men round him were asleep, as their loud snores 
in various tones told him. He would have had no 
inclination to talk, however, had they been awake. The 
only other sounds which reached him were the occasional 
footsteps of the watch on deck, as they paced over his 

Miserable Contemplations. 1 8 1 

head, or the creaking of the jaws of the mainboom and 
gaff, and, now and then, the flap of the mainsail. In 
vain he tried to get one subject out of his head — the 
thought of the flogging. Not that he dreaded the pain 
he should suffer one-tenth part so much as he did the 
disgrace. His father's heart would well-nigh break should 
he hear of it The stout English yeoman was as proud 
in his way as was the Marquis of Elverston. 

' '*It is he — he, that Lord Reginald, who has brought 
me to this ! " he muttered, clenching his fists and grindin 
his teeth. " If ever I have the chance I will be revenged 
on him ! I must, I could not help it." Dick conjured up 
a fearful picture — the young lord in his power, his hand 
upon his throat He forgot that it was through his own 
folly that he had enabled Lord Reginald to treat him in 
the way he had done. Had he kept free of the smugglers, 
had he not been tempted to desert, Lord Reginald, when 
exhibiting his ill feeling, would have been seen by all to 
be in the wrong. 

The cutter made no way during the night, and though 
she drifted to the westward with one tide, the flood carried 
her as far back again ; so that when morning broke The 
Start and Portland Bill were almost at equal distances 
from her. Dick dozed off while the crew were washing 
decks. He was only fully aroused when, as before, 
breakfast was brought down for the prisoners. After 
some time, sounds of laughter and frequent footsteps 
reached his ears, and he guessed that the commander 
with his young passengers were walking the deck after 
their breakfast Presently he heard the former order the 
steward to hand him his spyglass. 

" What is she, Mr. Mason ? " asked Lord Reginald 

1 82 The Rival Criisoes. 

"A large lugger, at all events. She may be a Jersey 
privateer, or she may be French. As she is bringing up 
a fresh breeze from the eastward, we shall know more 
about her soon." 

"Suppose she is French, shall you attack her?" asked 
Voules, in a tone which showed no great satisfaction at 
the thoughts of such an event taking place. 

"She is more likely to attack us, as she probably 
carries six or eight guns and one long nine-pounder. 
Such is the armament of most of those craft, and twice 
as many hands as we can muster, while we have only got 
our four small carronades, which are of very little use 
except at close quarters." 

" Then I suppose we shall have to run for it," said 
Voules ; " there'll be no honour or glory in fighting her." 

" I shouldn't like to have to run from an enemy unless 
she was very much larger than yonder craft appears to 
be," exclaimed Lord Reginald. 

" As to that, my lord, we must do our best not to be 
taken, and shall have to fight for it. We have hands 
enough to work our guns, but if she runs us aboard, her 
numerous crew will tell fearfully in her favour." 

" But you have a good many prisoners below; I suppose 
they could be trusted to help us ? " said Lord Reginald. 

" I shouldn't like to put cutlasses into their hands ; they 
might turn against us," observed Voules. 

" No fear of that," answered the lieutenant; "they are 
Englishmen, and if they see an enemy will fight fast 
enough. I shall trust them, at all events, and as soon as 
I can make out whether yonder lugger hails from Jersey 
or not, I will have them on deck and arm them." 

Dick, as he heard this, heartily hoped that the stranger 

The l^risoners set at Liberty, 183 

might prove an enemy. The rest of the prisoners, he 
judged, from the remarks they made, "were much of his 
way of thinking. 

"The mounseers won't make any difference between 
us and the crew, if we're taken," observed one of the men. 

"Right there, mate; better have a jolly stand-up fight 
than be sitting down here all day, doing nothing," re- 
marked another. 

The officers had gone aft, and Dick could not hear 
what was said. In a short time, however, he knew that 
the cutter was moving by the rippling against her side. 

Presently she heeled over slightly, showing that the 
breeze was freshening, and he heard the order to set the 
squaresail and square-topsail. There was little doubt, 
then, that the commander was following the advice given 

by Mr. Voules, making the best of his way to the west- 
ward. He would do that under ordinary circumstances. 
It was still uncertain whether the lugger which had 
brought up the breeze was a friend or an enemy. 

He had heard the order to hoist the ensign, and some 
time afterwards a voice called out, "That's a French 
craft, I'll take my davy, though we can't see her colours." 

Again some time elapsed, when a gun was heard, but 
the sound was so faint that Dick thought the vessel which 
fired it must be at a great distance. Presently Mr. Mason 
came down into the hold. 

" Lads," he said, looking round, " you are all English- 
men, though you are pressed against your will to serve 
his Majesty. I put it to you, whether — as I think it likely 

we are somewhat over-matched — you'll fight to preserve 
this vessel and to save yourself being carried to a French 
prison. I have come down to give you your liberty, as I 


184 The Rival Crusoes, 

am sure that you will all make the same answer, and if 
cutlasses are put into your hands, that you'll fight as 
bravely as any men on board. We shall then, I have no 
fear, lick the lugger, and carry her as a prize into Plymouth 

A hearty cheer was given. " We'll thrash the moun- 
seers; no fear about that," answered the men; Dick joining 
as warmly as any one. 

The men's handcuffs were soon taken off. Dick, on find- 
ing himself free, sprang to his feet and grasped the cutlass 
which was put into his hands. On reaching the deck he 
found the cutter was prepared for action. Two of the 
guns were trained aft, boarding-pikes were placed along 
the bulwarks. An arm-chest stood open, containing 
pistols, hand-grenades, swords, and cutlasses, while a 
number of muskets lay on the companion hatch. 

The two midshipmen, with pistols in their belts and 
cutlasses at their sides, stood watching the lugger, which 
under press of sail was coming up astern. She was 
evidently a much faster craft than the cutter, though 
the latter was a stout vessel of her class. The lugger now 
began to fire her long gun ; the shot, though failing to 
strike, pitched sometimes on one side, sometimes on the 
other side of the cutter. 

" Why don't we try and knock away some of her spars ?" 
observed Lord Reginald. 

"Little use firing our pop-guns," answered the com- 
mander; "our shot won't reach her as yet." 

Presently tlie long gun sent its missile through the 
cutter's squaresail. Another shortly afterwards made a 
second hole, but did no other damage. 

" Those fellows know bow to handle their gun. We 


The Cutter attacked. 285 

shall see how they behave when we get them within range 
of ours. Stand by, Beal, to give it them," he said to the 
gunner, who had brought a match from the galley fire. 

The guns were fired almost simultaneously. What 
effect their shot produced could not be seen, though Beal 
declared that one, if not both, struck the lugger. They 
did not, however, stop her way. She fired her long gun 
in return. It was well aimed, for down came the square- 
sail, the halliards shot away. The lugger's crew were 
heard cheering. 

" Shout away, my fine fellows \ " cried Beal ; " we'll 
make you sing a different note if you come alongside." 

Hands were instantly ordered to repair the damage. 
It took some time, however, to bend fresh halliards and 
hoist up the yard. During the interval, the lugger had 
gained considerably on the cutter, but this enabled the 
latter to fire her stem chasers with more effect. The 
men worked vigorously, loading and firing almost as fast 
as the lugger's crew did their long gun. Still, with short 
guns the aim was uncertain, and of the many shots fired, 
comparatively few did any damage to the enemy. Mr. 
Mason's object was to get to the other side of The Start, 

when probably the firing might attract the attention of 
some man-of-war near the mouth oi Plymouth harbour, 
which might come out to the rescue. He was deter- 
mined, however, to fight to the last, rather than yield 
his vessel. The Frenchman's object was evidently to 
knock away some of the cutter's spars, to get alongside 
as soon as possible, trusting to obtain the victory by 
boarding her, well aware of the small crew she was likely 
to carry; probably, also, supposing that she conveying 
specie or valuable stores to Plymouth^ as was fi-equently 

iS6 The Rival Crusoes. 

done, instead of sending them by land. Most of the 
damage inflicted on the cutter was therefore aloft Her 


sails already showed many holes. Her starboard back- 
stay had been shot away, her topmast. was wounded, though 
it still stood. Mr. Mason now made preparations for 
what he saw was inevitable. 

" When the cutter boards, my lads, remember we must 
not only drive back the boarders, but follow them into 
their own vessel and take her. Even if we wished it, 
should we lose any of our spars, we could not get away 
from her. It is pretty certain that her guns are heavier 

than ours. Lord Reginald. Til get you to stand by the 
helm with half a dozen hands to manage the cutter in 
case we are separated, and all the rest of you will board 
with me. Lads, I'll depend upon you to carry that craft. 

I know what privateersmen are like, when they see cold 
steel in their faces. They'll come on boldly enough at 
first, but when once beaten back, they'll turn tail like 
hounds, and skulk for shelter below." 

The cheers which rose from the throats of the crew, 
joined in heartily by Dick and the rest of the pressed 
men, gave promise of victory, in spite of the odds which 
might be against them. The firing was continued by both 
vessels as fast as the guns could be loaded, the lugger 
gradually gaining on the chase. 

The lieutenant ordered as many hands as were required, 
to drag over the two stern guns to the side on which the 
lugger might come up ; while the other two were loaded 
with musket-balls ready to fire into her. 

At length, a shot aimed high by the lugger struck the 
cutter's topmast. The spar held on for a minute, but a 
stronger puff of wind filling the sail, with a loud crash it 

Attempt to board the Cutter. 187 

gave way, and down came the gaff-topsail and square- 
topsaiL The mainsail and squaresail still, however, stood. 
The lugger now came up hand over hand. The two 
stern chasers were once more fired. The lugger was 
steering for the cutter's starboard quarter. In a few 
minutes the guns were dragged over to the starboard side 
and run through the two after ports, while the other re- 
maining gun was hauled up with equal rapidity to the 
same side. 

"Lower away the squaresail; down with the helm. 
Now fire, lads ! " 

Four guns were simultaneously discharged, raking the 
lugger fore and aft. The next instant the helm was again 
put up, or the lugger would have run into her stem on. 
Instead of this, striking on the counter, she ranged up 

alongside. A large body of men were seen grouped on 
the forecastle armed with pikes and cutlasses. The 
moment the sides of the two vessels touched, with loud 
shouts, led by one of their officers, they leaped on board, 
many to meet their doom, for before they reached the 
deck they were cut down by the stalwart arms of the 
British seamen. Others followed, but, met with a bristling 
array of pikes and cutlasses in their faces, they dared not 
spring from their own bulwarks. The men aft, under 
the command of Lord Reginald, had been keeping up a 
warm fire of musketry, when the lieutenant, turning his 
head, saw a party of the enemy kept in reserve, about to 
board the cutter aft. He instantly sprang towards the 

threatened point, followed by several who had gallantly 
been keeping the first party of boarders in check. Among 
them was Dick Hargrave and several of his companions. 
Leading the French boarders was a big fellow with huge 

iSS The Rival Crusoes, 

bushy whiskers, and a red handkerchief tied round his 
head. With a sword of a size which few men could 
have wielded, he made a desperate slash at the lieutenant, 
which would have brought him to the deck, had not Dick 
sprang forward and, interposing his cutlass, dealt the next 
instant such a blow on the sword arm of the giant, that 
the fellow's weapon dropped from his hand. 


" Thank you, my good fellow, I saw what you did," 
said the lieutenant. "Now lads, we will drive these 
Frenchmen below, as we promised them. All of you 
follow me !" and, led by the lieutenant and Dick, the 
English crew threw themselves on the lugger's deck, 
trusting rather to their cutlasses and stout arms than to 
any other weapons. 

Voules, with those who had remained on the cutter's 
forecastle, now gained a footing on the fore part of the 

lugger's deck. Her crew fought bravely, but besides their 
big officer, many of them were cut down. Inch by inch 

the lieutenant and his men made their way forward, until 
the quarter-deck was cleared, the Frenchmen being either 
killed or wounded, or driven down the main-hatchway or 
overboard. One of their officers alone remained alive, 
and, seeing that all hope of gaining the victory was lost, 
he shouted out " We surrender ! " Dick, who knew the 
meaning of the cry, repeated it in English, and running 
aft to the peak halliards, quickly hauled down the French- 
man's ensign. 

" Well done, my lad ! " cried Lieutenant Mason. " I'll 
not forget you." 

The Frenchmen, who had hitherto kept their cutlasses 
in their hands, threw them on the deck, asking for quartei 
for themselves and their companions below. Their officer; 

The Lugger captured, 189 

coming aft, surrendered his sword. Those below now 
being called up one by one, were transferred to the 
cutter's hold, and Mr. Voules, with eight men, including 
Dick Hargrave, was sent on board the lugger to navigate 
her into Plymouth. 

" You will keep close to me, Mr. Voules," said Lieu- 
tenant Mason, for I have as many prisoners on board as 
I can well manage, and should they be disposed to rise 
up9n us they might succeed if we don't keep a bright 

The French privateersmen were indeed a very rough- 
looking set of fellows. By the way they had fought they 
showed that they were capable of daring and doing any 
act of violence. Although nearly twenty had been killed 
or wounded, they still far outnumbered the cutter's crew, 
now reduced by three killed and five wounded, as well as 
by those sent on board the lugger. 

The two vessels were soon separated, though they kept 
as close as they could together. Voules and his men had 
enough to do, heaving the dead overboard and attending 
to the wounded, while they had to wash down the blood- 
stained decks. Some of the rigging, too, required knotting 
and splicing, and several shot-holes had to be plugged in 
the vessel's side. It was the first command Voules had 
ever enjoyed, and he walked the deck with his spyglass 
under his arm, issuing his orders in an authoritative tone. 
At last his eye fell upon Dick, who was engaged in some 


work which it appeared he was not doing according to 
the midshipman's notion of the way it ought to be done. 

" What are you about there, you lubberly hound ? " he 
sliouted out, springing up to him with a rope's end, 

Dick leaped out of his way, and the uplifted rope fell on 

igo The Rival Crtisoes. 

the back of another man, who turned round with a look 

of no little astonishment. 

"I beg pardon, sir, but you hit somewhat hard," said 
the man. " I'll splice this here rope for the lad, for if he's 
not quite up to it, he knows how to use his cutlass, at any 
rate. If it hadn't been for him, our commander would be 
among those poor fellows who have lost the number of 

their mess in this here fight" 

" Belay the slack of your jaw, fellow ! " exclaimed 
Voules, turning away. 

The man thrust his tongue into his cheek as he caught 
the eye of another seaman standing near him. 

Dick kept out of the midshipman's way as much as he 
could, though he continued actively engaged as before. 
His spirits rose with the feeling that he was at liberty, 
and that he had gained Lieutenant Mason's good opinion. 
" I wish that I had been allowed to remain on board the 
cutter. I could serve under her commander, and do my 
duty. But when I get on board the frigate, all will be 
changed, I fear," he said to himself; '* however, I must 
not think about that. I must do my duty as well as I can 
now, and maybe he'll speak a word for me, though I have 
little to expect from such fellows as Mr. Voules and his 

The breeze continued, The Start was passed, the Eddy- 
stone light came in sight. No one on board the vessels 
turned in. The whole crew on board the lugger could 
only just manage her sails, while that of the cutter were 
required to keep a watch on the prisoners. The two 
vessels kept close together, Voules every now and then 
hailing the cutter, to learn if all was right on board her. 
The lugger had twice to shorten sail, or she would b^ve 

Dick's Promptitude, 191 

run ahead. Dick, as he wall^ed forward, kept his eye on 
the cutter. The idea had come into his head that the 
Frenchmen might rise on their captors. He had formed 
a higher estimate of their courage than had most of his 
shipmates. The lugger was now about twenty fathoms 
oif on the cutter's quarter. Voules, who had become very 
hungry, telling the man at the helm to keep the vessel as 
she was going, dived below, in the hopes of finding some- 
thing to eat. Two or three of the men, following his 
example, had gone below, with the same object in view. 
Dick, who was standing on the lugger's forecastle, with his 
eye turned towards the cutter, suddenly saw a flash, though 

there was no report This was immediately followed by 
shouts and oaths. 

" Starboard ! " he cried out to the man at the helm ; 
" there's something going wrong on board the cutter." 

The lugger was just then feeling the breeze, and forging 
ahead. This brought her bows close to the cutter's side. 
Dick could see that a struggle was going on around the 
main hatchway, up which a number of figures were iovcmg 
themselves. His cries brought the lugger's men forward. 

To lash the two vessels together was the work of a moment, 
and then he, with five of his shipmates, leaped do\vn on the 
cutter^s deck. Their arrival turned the scales in favour of 
the crew, who, surprised by a sudden uprising of the French 
prisoners, were struggling hard to keep them down, several 
having incautiously unbuckled their cutlasses while en- 
gaged in repairing the rigging. Lieutenant Mason and 
Lord Reginald were aft, at supper. So sudden and silent 
had been the rising, that they had only just before reached 
the scene of action when the lugger ran alongside, 

** Thank you, Voules ; you came in the nick of time," 

192 The Rival Crusoes, 

cried Lieutenant Mason, when the Frenchmen were forced 

Voules made no reply. He had been busily engaged 
in the lugger's cabin, and was not aware of what had taken 
place until all was over. 

"It was this here lad, sir, who did it," exclaimed the 
seaman who had received the blow aimed at Dick's 
shoulders; "he see'd what was happening. If it hadn't 
been for him, no one else would have found it out." 

" Thank you, Richard Hargrave ; that is the second 
time to-day you have rendered me good service," said 
Lieutenant Mason. 

" Richard Hargrave ! " said Lord'Reginald ; " he is the 
last person I should have thought likely to do anything 
worthy of praise/' 

" Depend upon it, your lordship will find there is some- 
thing in that lad, if he has the opportunity of proving it," 

observed Lieutenant Mason. 

No lives had been lost in the outbreak. Order was 
quickly restored, the lashings cast off, and the lugger's 
crew returning to her, the two vessels pursued their course 
as before. The Frenchmen now saw that all hope of 
escape was gone, and quietly submitted to their fate. 

The night was sufficiently light to enable the cutter 
and her prize to make their way up Plymouth harbour. 
Before the day broke they were both safe at anchor in 
Hamoze, close to where the Wolf hey. 

Soon after sunrise Lieutenant Mason, with the two 
midshipmen he had brought for the frigate, went along- 
side her. Captain Moubray, who was on board, at 
once desired to see him. Having given an account of 
the capture of the lugger and described the good conduct 

Brighter Prospects. J 93 

of the pressed men, and especially raentioned E.ichard 
Hargrave, he added, " He saved my life, sir, in boarding 
the lugger, and afterwards, when the Frenchmen were on 
the point oi breaking out of the hold, he brought the 
lugger alongside just m time X.o enable us to drive them 
below without bloodshed. He had, I understand, deserted 
from the frigate, but as he was in the first instance pressed, 
I trust that you will pardon him, and judge rather by the 
way he has lately behaved than his past conduct/' 

*' III take the account you give into consideration, Mr. 
Mason," answered the captain. " To prevent desertion, 
it is absolutely necessary to punish those who are retaken; 
but I should be very unwilling to do so in this instance. 
I will see this Richard Hargrave, and if I can overlook 
his offence without injury to the discipline of the ship, 

I will gladly do so." 

With this promise, Lieutenant Mason was obliged to 
remain satisfied. It was all he could do to show his 
gratitude to Dick for saving his life. He had, however, 
several duties to perform — to get rid of his prisoners, and 
to hand the lugger over to the prize agents. On paying 
his respects to the admiral, he received many compli- 
ments on his gallantry, and a promise that his conduct 
would be duly reported. He then mentioned Dick Har- 

grave's conduct 

"Very praiseworthy," observed the admiral. "I am 
glad you have spoken of him to Captain Moubray, who 
will doubtless see that he is rewarded, and keep an eye 

on him in future." 

Dick, soon after he got on board, fell in with Ben 
Rudall. Ben looked very downcast 

"Sorry to see you back, Dick," he said. "What has 

194 '^f^^ Rival Crusoes, 

happened ? Did you manage to get home and see my 
old woman, and give her the money ? or did they catch 
you afore, and take it from you ? " 

Dick briefly explained all that had happened, and gave 
an account of the action with the lugger, and how the 
lieutenant had spoken of him. 

"That's good luck for you. It may save you from 
what I got I thought I was safe off, but I was brought 
back, and had a taste of the cat in consequence." 

Dick received a very different greeting from what he 
had expected. The news of his behaviour had spread 
from mouth to mouth, and he was looked upon by his 
messmates in a far better light than formerly. Seamen 
are always ready to acknowledge merit, and his attempt 
to desert was overlooked, especially when it was known 
among the men that he had been put up to it by Ben 
RudalL He was naturally somewhat nervous as to how 
he might be treated by the captain, not being aware that 
Lieutenant Mason had spoken in his favour, for he had 
no hope that Lord Reginald or Voules would have men- 
tioned his conduct on board the cutter. 

At length his name was called along the decks. He 
hurried aft. The master-at-arms, who had been looking 
for him, told him that he was wanted on the quarter- 
deck. He screwed up his courage to brave the worst 
He found the captain and first lieutenant standing aft, as 
he approached, hat in hand. 

" Richard Hargrave, you entered some time back on 
board this ship, and deserted. You made no attempt to 

return of your own accord, and were retaken. You know 
the punishment, and discipline requires that it should be 
inflicted," said the captain in a stern voice. 

A F^dend in Need. 195 

" I was pressed against my will, sir ; and I did vciy 
duty in the action with the French frigate which we took. 
But I wanted to see my mother and blind sister, and 
I ran, and can't deny it. Now I've been brought back, 
rU try to do my duty. That's what I've got to say, sir." 

" Have you nothing more to say ? " asked the captain. 

" Yes. When I was set free, I did duty on board the 
cutter, and helped to take the French lugger. The com- 
mander says I saved his life ; and afterwards, when I 
was on board the prize, it was through me that the lugger 
was brought alongside the cutter, and the Frenchmen, 
who were rising on her crew, were overpowered." 

"You acted well, then, on both occasions?" said the 

" Yes \ I did what I thought was my duty," answered 

" Still, you do not deny that you deserted, and had no 
intention of returning ? " observed Captain Moubray. 

" I cannot deny it, sir," said Dick. 

" You know that desertion is always punished by flog- 
ging ? " said the captain. 

"Yes," answered Dick; "if it were not for the disgrace 
I shouldn't mind it." 

" It is a greater disgrace to desert your ship," said the 
captain ; " but discipline must be maintained, although, 
considering your gallant conduct on board the cutter, I 
would gladly overlook your crime." 

Just as Dick was expecting to hear his sentence pro 
nounced, he was conscious that some one, who had come 
up, was standing by his side, and glancing round, he saw 
Ben RudalL 

" Beg pardon, Captain Moubray, for speaking, but 3 

196 The Rival Crtcsoes. 

makes bold in this here case to come for'ard, as I knows 
more about the desertion of this lad than any one else," 
said Ben, giving a pull at his hair. " I put him up to it, 
as I had been the cause of his being taken, and as I 
knowed that he is the only son of his father and mother, 
they would be main glad to have him back again ; and 
I had made up my mind to go too, as I have a wife 
and children at home waiting for me, but I was taken 
and brought back." 

"Then you merit the punishment more than he does," 
said the captain. 

" That's just it, sir ; and I axes the favour of being 
flogged instead of him. My hide is tough, and can bear 
it ; but his is young and tender, and ain't been accus- 
tomed to hard blows." 

The captain looked greatly puzzled. He was struck 
by Ben's magnanimity, if so it could be called, in being 
ready to sacrifice himself, and was therefore unwilling to 
punish him ; yet the crime of inciting another to desert 
was greater even than the act of desertion, and he felt, 
as the man had acknowledged it, that he ought to be 
punished as a warning to others. 

The first lieutenant relieved him of his dilemma by 
observing that, " That man has already been flogged for 
attempting to desert, and I may venture to think that it 
would not do to punish him again for the same crime." 

"You are right, Mr. Curling. The discipline of the 
ship will not suffer, should I overlook this lad's offence 
in consideration of the gallantry he has displayed." 

" I feel sure of it, sir. It would do more harm to 
punish than to pardon him." 

"Go for\vard, my man," said the captain, addressing 

Dick pardoned. 197 

Rudall. " I have heard what you say about this lad, and 
let it be known among the men, that although he is let 
off this time, I will not again pardon any attempt at 
desertion, whatever may be the excuse offered." 

Ben, pulling a lock of his hair, obeyed the captain's 

orders, and went forward, exhibiting very little trace of 
the lawless, vaunting smuggler he had appeared to Dick 
on board the Nancy, 

" And now, Richard Hargrave," said the captain, ad- 
dressing Dick, "you made a bad commencement by 
committing a grave crime, but you have shown that you 
are capable of performing your duty well and gallantly 
Your late conduct atones in a great measure for your 
previous behaviour ; and as you know what your duty is, 
I would urge you to perform it, in spite of the bad 
example or advice of such associates as may try to lead 
you into evil. Remember that the eyes of the officers 
will be upon you, and I shall be glad to hear a favour- 
able report of your conduct" 

Dick, grateful to the captain for pardoning him, and 
especially for the last encouraging words which he had 
spoken, could with difficulty refrain from bursting into 
tears. His breast heaved, a choking sensation came into 
his throat, and he was unable to utter a word beyond 
" Thank you, sir; thank you, sir ; " and making the usual 
salute, he turned round and hurried below. 


An East Indian convoy — Toady Voules turns nurse — Fairrun to the 
Cape — Fear of privateers — Carelessness — A strange signal — 
Midnight attack — Timely assistance — Treachery — Lord Reginald 
in command of the prize — Treatment of the Marias crew — Dis- 
content — A stern chase is a long chase — Obstinacy of the young 
lord — ^Voules's advice neglected — A calm — Bursting of the 
hurricane — Wreck of the privateer — Washed ashore. 

FEW days after Lord Reginald Oswald and 
Richard Hargrave returned on board the 
Wolf, she went out of harbour and came to an 
anchor in Cawsand Bay, where she, with another frigate, 
surrounded by a fleet of merchantmen, which they were to 
convoy to the East Indies, lay waiting for a fair wind. 

Dick had never seen so many ships together. To his 
eyes they presented a grand sight, as with colours flying 
and sails loosened from the yards, they were prepared to 
obey the signal for getting under way. He felt proud of 
belonging to one of the ships which had charge of so 
many fine vessels, many of them capable, it seemed to 
him, of coping with even the enemy's men-of-war. 

The wind suddenly came round to the northward. The 

The Convoy sails. 199 

WoIJ fired the signal gun, the anchor was hove up^ her 
canvas was let fall and sheeted home, and she glided out 
of the Sound, followed in rapid succession by the mer- 
chant vessels; the lone^ the other frigate, bringing up 
the rear and acting as whipper-in to the fleet, which, as 
they spread out on their course down the British Channel, 
with their snowy canvas extended below and aloft, seemed 
increased in number. The signal midshipmen had work 
enough to do in watching the merchant vessels, and in 
hoisting and hauling down the bunting as the requisite 
signals were made, while both frigates were continually 
firing their guns to hasten on the laggards, or to make 
the faster sailing ships shorten sail. 

Rapid voyages were not expected to be made in those 
days, for the more nimble-heeled had to wait for the 
slower-sailing craft, while the men-of-war had to keep the 
whole of the vessels under their charge in sight, and as 
close together as circumstances would allow. 

The midshipmen had assembled for dinner in their 
berth on the day the fleet sailed, with the exception of 
those on duty. 

"Faith, Ludlam 1 I thought you'd have been our n^^ 
third, rather than Oswald, who hasn't been in the service 
half as long as you have, and isn't as good a seaman by a 
long score," said Paddy Logan. 

"It's my ill luck ; I've not got a marquis for a father, 
and must submit," answered Ludlam, shrugging his 

" It's a crying shame, I say. Oh ! you should have seen 
him come on board last night, with his new-fledged 
honours thick upon him, in the shape of an epaulet on 
bis left shoulder. Ho\f he strutted about the deck, with a 

20O The Rival Cr usees* 

shaggy Newfoundland pup running after him ! and how he 
shook hands with Curling and Jager, giving a nod to the 
master and old ' cheese-parings/ as if he considered them 
scarcely worth his notice, though he did condescend to 
oifer the tips of his fingers to Renton, our new lieutenant 
of marines, and to Dr. O'Brien ! I say, old Voules, I 
thought he was going to cut you altogether; but perhaps 
hell honour you by giving that yelping pup of his into 
your charge to dry nurse. You'll not have many oppor- 
tunities of paying court to him if he treats you in the 
fashion he does others." 

" I pay court to Lord Reginald Oswald ! never did such 
a thing in my life," answered Voules, blushing to the 
forehead. " But you are mistaken, Paddy, as to the way he 
treated me. If you had seen him afterwards, you would 
have said that he was as friendly as ever, only now, as he 
has become a gun-room officer, he is of course obliged to 
keep up a certain amount of reserve." 

" Reserve ! do you call it ? " cried Tommy Shackel. 
" He glanced at me as if he had never seen me before, and 
when I went up to him, and put out my hand, he drew 
back with a look of astonishment at my audaciousness, I 
suppose, as he thought it." 

''You fellows shouldn't speak of Lord Reginald in 
the way you are doing," exclaimed Voules. " I consider 
he was an ornament to our mess while he remained in it, 
and it is but natural that his father the marquis should 
get him promoted as soon as he was eligible. As a friend 
of mine, I cannot allow him to be spoken of disrespect- 

There was a general laugh at this remark. 

*^ Faith ! an' whose speakin' disrespectfully of him?" 

Voules among his Messmates. 201 

asked Paddy Logan. " Sure, we're only saying that he's 
inclined to give the cold shoulder to those he looks upon 
as his inferiors in rank. And the belief is, Voules, that 
he's going to throw you overboard, notwithstanding all 
the court you paid him." 

" I say I never did pay him court," said Voules, em- 
phatically. " He did me the honour to select me as his 
friend, and I fully believe that he intends to treat me as 
a friend in future." 

"*Theproof of the pudding is in the eating !'" answered 
Paddy. "As I said, Voules, to show his affection, I have 
no doubt he'll make you dry nurse to that pup of his. 
Faith ! what an honour it will be ! " 

At this last remark, Voules was nearly boiling over 
with rage, but just then, as the whole mess was against him, 
he saw that it would not do to give away to his feelings, 
and Paddy Logan continued 

"When you last accompanied Oswald — I mane his 
lordship — to Elvcrston Hall, you thought instead of join- 
ing us again, you would have got your promotion, as you 

always boasted that the marquis had promised to obtain 
it for you." 

" I boasted of no such thing 1 " cried Voules, scarcely 
able longer to restrain liimself. " I merely said that the 
marquis had promised to give me his interest as soon as 
his son had been promoted. Before many months are 
over, I expect to get my step and be appointed to some 
ship on the East Indian station." 

As may be supposed, his messmates watched him when- 
ever he was speaking to Lord Reginald, to observe the 
terms he was on. Voules was evidently himself not very 
confident about the matter. Instead oi taking his arm 

202 The Rival Crusoes. 

and walking up and down the quarter-deck, on the lar- 
board or lee side, as he had been accustomed to do, he 
approached the heutenant with the usual mark of respect 
shown by an inferior to a superior officer, always addres- 
sing him as " my lord," and looking highly pleased on all 
occasions when spoken to. It was asserted in the berth 
that there must have been some difference between them, 
or that Voules had offended the young lord, but what it 
was no one could exactly tell. However, by his humble 
conduct, Voules won his way back into the good graces 
of Lord Reginald, who did not find either of his brother 
officers or the lieutenant of marines or purser very genial 
companions. The two lieutenants were middle-aged men, 
who had gained their present position by long service 
and hard work, and they looked with a jealous eye on one 
who had been placed on the next ratline below them, over 
the heads of many older men than himself. The marine 
officer was a married man, rather grave and saturnine, and 
the purser had Republican tendencies, though he did not 
exhibit them except in the expression of his feelings 
towards lords and big-wigs in general. 

Thus Lord Reginald was induced to seek the society ot 
Voules and his former messmates more than he otherwise 
might have done. As Paddy had surmised. Lord Regi- 
nald did actually tell Voules that he should be much 
obliged if he would look after his pup Neptune, and the 
toady was frequently seen carrjdng its food to the dog, 
washing and brushing it, and attempting to teach it 
various tricks. Before long a drawing appeared, with 
Voules dressed as a nurse, a mob cap on his head, a bowl 
of pap by his side, from which, spoon in hand, he was 
feeding the puppy on his knees, while a figure^ which 

Lord Reginald notices Dick, 203 

could not fail to be recognized as that of Lord Reginald, 
was standing by, saying, "You make a capital nurse, and 
I shall be happy to recommend you to a similar situa- 

It was handed about among the members of the mess, 
until somehow or other it reached the gun-room. When 
Lord Reginald saw it, he laughed heartily, and declared 
that he must show it to poor old Toady. 

He occasionally dined in due course with the captain. 
On such occasions his rank enabled him to speak more 
familiarly than any of the other officers would have done, 
with the exception perhaps of the first lieutenant. Cap- 
tain Moubray was not the man to have allowed him to 
take the slightest liberty on duty. Lord Reginald had 
seen Dick Hargrave, with the other men from the cutter, 
come on board, and as he eyed the young sailor the ill 
feelings with which he had before regarded him regained 
their ascendancy in his bosom. Dick would willingly 
have kept out of his way, but in the course of duty they 
were constantly brought together, when he saw by the 
glances the third lieutenant cast at him, and the tone of 
his voice, that he was as much disliked as ever. His own 
proud spirit was aroused. He could not help often 
returning glance for glance, though he kept his lips closed 
to prevent himself saying anything which could be taken 
hold of. Lord Reginald never addressed him by name, 
but frequently shouted at him, and bestowed epithets of 


which — *' You lazy hound ! " "You skulking rascal ! " were 
among the least offensive. 

Dick bore this as other men had to bear it from their 
officers in those days, and although from any one else he 

would have been very indifferent to such treatment, he 


204 The Rival Crusoes. 

felt little inclination to brook it from one whom he con- 
sidered had so wronged him. 

It must not be supposed that Lord Reginald fancied 
that he was acting in a revengeful spirit towards Richard 
Hargrave. He considered that he had formed a correct 
opinion of Dick, whom he looked upon as a daring young 
ruffian, and that Captain Moubray had acted unwisely in 

not punishing him for deserting the ship. He ventured, 
even, after introducing the subject of desertion, to express 
his opinion of Richard Hargrave, Ben Rudall, and other 
men of extremely doubtful characters whom he classed 
together. " They come from my part of the country," he 
observed, " and are all smugglers to the backbone, ready 
for any sort of outrage. At one time my father lived in 
dread of having his house burnt down by them, so fearful 
were the threats of vengeance they uttered in consequence 
of his determination of putting a stop to their illegal 
practices. That young Hargrave was a poacher as well 
as a smuggler, and nothing but strict discipline can keep 
him in order." 

The captain bit his lip, for he could not fail to see at 
what the third lieutenant was driving. "They cannot 
poach or smuggle here, and the daring and hardihood 
they have exhibited in their illegal calling may be turned 
to good account," he answered. " They are the fellows 
to send on any dangerous or difficult undertaking, and 
we may feel very sure that they will not show the white 
feather. " 

"Young Hargrave is a desperate ruffian, notwithstand- 
ing, and I wouldn't trust him," muttered Lord Reginald. 

" He has shown his ruffianism by acting very gallantly 

on two occasions, I understand," observed the captain. 

In the Indian Ocean. 205 

" I wish we had a couple of hundred young fellows on 
board oi the same description. After a it-^ months' train- 
ing they become prime seamen, and will fight their guns 

to the last." 

Under ordinary circumstances, during a long voyage, 

time would have hung heavily on the hands of the officers, 
but with a large convoy to look to, there was plenty to do 
at all hours of the day and night. Not only had the 
merchantmen to be watched, but a bright look-out had to 
be kept for strange sails, especially for any daring pri- 
vateers, who, tempted with the prospect of obtaining a 
rich booty, might pounce down on some unfortunate 
trader during a dark night and carry her off. This had 
actually been done on several occasions, and Captain 
Moubray endeavoured to impress upon the masters of the 
vessels under his charge the importance of saiUng in due 
order together, and keeping a strict watch at night 

The convoy hove to off St. Helena, to obtain fresh 
provisions and water. The line was passed without any 
enemy having been encountered, when, falling in with 
the south-east trade wind, they got well to the southward, 
after which with a fair breeze they stood to the eastward 
on their passage round the Cape of Good Hope. It was 
considered advisable not to put into Table Bay, to avoid 
the risk of information being given to the enemy of their 
whereabouts. Unusually fine weather had hitherto been 
enjoyed, and the ships keeping well together at length 
entered the Indian Ocean. 

Although the masters of the merchantmen generally 
strictly obeyed orders, there were one or two who caused 
more trouble than all the others put together, by some- 
times carrying too much sail and getting ahead of the 

2o6 The Rival Crusocs. 

convoy, sometimes too little and lagging astem, knowing 
that they could always regain their position. This 
occurred especially at night, when the skippers, wishing to 

save their crews the trouble of making sail, would wait 
until daylight to do so. 

One evening a strange sail had been seen to the north- 
ward, and Captain Moubray had ordered the lone to go 
in chase and ascertain her character, while he shortened 
sail so as to bring the Wolf on the weather quarter of 
most of the ships. At dark the lone had not returned, 
though Captain Moubray ordered a look-out to be kept 
for her, expecting every moment to see her signal. At 
the same time, of course, a constant watch was kept on 
the various vessels of the convoy, which could be seen like 
so many dark shadows gliding over the ocean to leeward, 
each carrying a light to show its position. 

It was blowing a fresh breeze from the north-west, but 
there was not much sea on. The captain frequently 
came on deck, inquiring whether the lone had yet shown 
her number. The same answer had been returned that 
no light had been seen to windward He was pacing the 

quarter-deck with his night-glass in his hand, when the 
sound of a gun, which seemed to come up far away from 
the southward, reached his ears. 

"What can that be ? " he asked of the first lieutenant, 
who just then joined him. 

" That's more than I can positively say," answered Mr. 
Curling. " It must be a signal from one of the convoy, 
something must have happened to her, and she wishes to 
draw our attention." 

While he was speaking the sound of another gun came 
up from the same direction. 

One of the Convoy attacked, 207 

"We will run down and see what's the matter," said 
the captain ; ** but you need not turn the hands up at 

The helm was put up, the yards squared away, and the 
frigate, allowing the sternmost of the merchantmen to 
pass her, ran down in the direction whence the sound of 
the firing had come, and where, a long way off, a light 

could be seen, showing the whereabouts of the vessel 
supposed to be in distress. Several times the sound of 

a gun was heard, and the frigate, as she drew nearer, 

returned the signal. All eyes were directed towards the 

light, when flashes were seen, the rattle of small arms 

was heard over the clashing of cutlasses, and some 

declared that they could distinguish the shouts and cries 

of men engaged in mortal combat. 

" There can be no doubt as to what is passing. Turn 
up the hands, Curling. There seems to be either mutiny 
on board the ship, or some other vessel has run her 
aboard. If we attempt to go alongside with this sea on, 
we shall too probably sink both together, while if we fire 
into one, we may injure our friends. We must board 
her in tlie boats. We will stand on, shorten sail, heave 
the ship to, then lower them and let them drop along- 

"Ay, ay, sir," said the first lieutenant, and imme- 
diately issued the necessary orders. 

So fiercely engaged all the time were the two vessels, 
that no signal was made by the English merchantman to 
show that she was aware help was at hand. The captain's 
orders were quickly executed, and the frigate now being 
on the weather bows of the two ships, the boats were 
lowered and placed under the command of the second 

2o8 The Rival Crusoes. 

and third lieutenants, Mr. Eitts, Voules, Paddy Logan, 
and another midshipman, with a party of marines, going 
in them. They had not far to pull, for the vessels going 
ahead, the boats dropped alongside the English mer- 
chantman, which was to windward. 

Led by Mr. Jager, Lord Reginald and Mr. Bitts 
quickly clambered up her side, and reached her deck, 
where a fierce struggle was taking place, the enemy having 
boarded and almost overcome her crew, who, however, 
though many of their number had fallen, were still 
struggling manfully. They cheered as they discovered 
the timely assistance which had arrived. 

Mr. Jager and his party furiously attacking the enemy, 
soon turned the tide of war and drove them back to the 
starboard bulwarks, where the bravest in vain attempted 
to defend themselves. Those who could manage it leapt 
back on board their Q-wn vessel, others making the 
attempt were cut down, and not a man of the remainder 
escaped, all being killed or desperately wounded by the 
onslaught of the Wolffs crew. 

The Frenchmen were in the mean time attempting to 
cast off the grappling irons, but in the darkness and con- 
fusion they were unable to succeed. 

" Follow me, my lads ! We must board the enemy. 
It will not do to let her get away," cried the lieutenant. 

Dick, who was near him, with Ben Rudall and several 
other men, sprang into the main rigging of the privateer, 
for such she appeared to be, and clearing a space before 
them with their whirling cutlasses, leapt down on her 
deck. Others came after them. One party following 
Mr. Jager, drove the enemy forward, where the larger 

part of them were assembled ; while Lord Reginald and 

A Privateer captured. 209 

the boatswain attacked those on the quarter-deck, com- 
pelling them inch by inch to give way, until the poop was 

The struggle did not last long. Cries for quarter were 
heard from the people fonvard as well as from the after 
part of the ship, but the crew of the English merchant 
vessel seemed little disposed to grant it, and continued 
hacking away at every Frenchman they could come up 
with. Again and again Mr. Jager had to order the com- 
batants to desist, and shouted to the Frenchmen to throw 
down their weapons. 

" Hold, my men ! Don't you seethe enemy have given 
in ? " he exclaimed. " We are bound to show them mercy, 
as they ask for it." 

" It's mighty little we can see how to know friend from 
enemy," cried a voice from among the seamen. 

^' Bring a lantern or two along here," cried the lieu- 
tenant, and he called out to the Frenchmen to throw 
down their weapons, while he peremptorily ordered his 

own men to desist from striking. 

Lord Reginald and the boatswain had in the mean time 
driven their opponents, the larger number of whom were 
officers of the ship, right aft to the starboard quarter, 
where they stood grouped together, defending themselves 
bravely until, seeing that all hope was gone, they too cried 
out for quarter. 

" Quarter ! Yes, we'll quarter you 1 " cried Mr. Bitts 
the boatswain. '* Come on, lads ! We shouldn't let such 
ruffians as these live." 

Lord Reginald, however, interposed, and speaking 
French well, directed his hard-pressed foes to throw down 
their swords and they should be safe. It was not with- 

210 The Rival Crusoes, 

out difficulty, however, that he restrained the merchant 
seamen from rushing in and cutting them down. Unfor- 
tunately, some Frenchmen who had leapt below, maddened 
by their defeat, fired up the hatchway, when the victors, 
springing down after them, followed them round the deck, 
killing all they met with. 

On the lanterns being brought, the deck presented a 
fearful scene, for more than half of the crew lay dead or 
desperately wounded. The survivors, with their officers, 
three of whom only had escaped, were mustered, and 
being deprived of the pistols and long knives generally 
worn in their belts, were conveyed across the deck of the 
trader into the boats. A savage, sunburnt crew they ap- 
peared as the light of the lantern fell on their countenances, 
and doubts were entertained whether they could claim to 
be even privateersmen, so greatly did they resemble the 
most desperate of pirates. 

The deck of the merchantman had even a more fearful 
aspect than that of her foe. Besides the Frenchmen who 
had been killed, and whose bodies lay thick under the 
starboard bulwarks, nearly a fourth of her people had 
been shot or cut down, while bravely defending their 
ship. Among them was the master, who had been nearly 
the last to fall, just before the man-of-war's men leaped 
on board. 

His body presented several wounds; one through his 
breast had evidently been fatal. He was a strongly built 
man, with a sunburnt visage. Probably he had been 
endeavouring, by his courageous resistance, to redeem his 
fault in not more carefully attending to his sailing 

The first officer presented himself with his arm hang- 

A Gallant Resistance, 2 1 1 

ing loosely by his side, from a severe cut in the shoulder 
and another wound in his leg, while the second and third 
were both more or less hurt. 

The first officer informed Mr. Jager that they had 
taken the privateer for one of the convoy. That when 
hailed a reply was given m English, and that the same 
voice inquired whether they had a surgeon on board, as 
their own had gone mad, and they had three sick people 
who required immediate attendance. While the surgeon 
was preparing to go, and they were thus thrown off their 
guard, the stranger was seen to be sheering alongside. 
The master, suspecting treachery, called up the watch below, 
and ordered all on deck to seize such weapons as were 
at hand to resist the boarders, while he directed the rest 
of the people to arm themselves. 

Scarcely were the crew thus partially prepared for an 
attack, than the stranger, running alongside, threw grap- 
pling irons aboard them. On this the master had the gun 
fired, which was first heard on board the frigate. His 
promptness had saved the ship. The crew well knew 
that they were fighting for their lives. 

As soon as one party had armed themselves completely 
they took the places of those who had received the first 
attack and had driven the enemy back. In vain, how- 
ever, they attempted to cast off the grappling irons. 
The ships' yards had become locked, and no effort they 
could make could separate them. Thus, had not the 
frigate come to their assistance, they must have been 
taken. Whether or not the privateer would have suc- 
ceeded in getting off with them was doubtful. As soon 
as the prisoners had been secured, Mr. Jager ordered 
Lord Reginald and the boatswain to return on board the 

212 The Rival Crusoes, 

frigate and bring back the captain's orders. In the meat 
time he and the men remaining with him, aided by the 
crew of the merchant vessel, got the two ships free from 

each other, and, making sail, stood for the frigate, which, 
as soon as the boats got alongside, had kept away. 
Neither ship was injured, except where their sides had 
ground together, and the yards when interlocked had 
torn the canvas and carried away some blocks and 

Some time elapsed, during which the Wolf had been 
making signals to the rest of the convoy, to put them 
on their guard, lest other ships of the enemy should be 
in the neighbourhood. Dick and Ben had remained on 
board the prize. 

" I say, I wonder who'll have charge of this craft," 
observed the latter to Dick. " I hope it will be Mr. 
Jager. She's a fine little ship, carries twenty-four guns, 
and would make a capital cruiser. If the captain com- 
missions her, and sends her away to play the same game 
on the enemy that she's been playing on our ships, we 
may chance to fill our pockets with prize-money. I 
think it's very likely, too, and if Mr. Jager gets command 
we shall have an officer who'll keep his eye open,-and 
not let the grass grow under his feet." 

" I should like it well enough, especially as we shall be 
free of that Lord Reginald and Toady Voules," said Dick. 
*'They have been as bad as ever lately; one sets on the 
other. Voules knows that the third lieutenant hates me, 
and so, to cuny favour with him, he loses no chance of 
bullying me. I have kept out of trouble as yet, but I 
don't know how long I shall be able to do so." 

*^But what if the toady be sent with us? He is on 

Lord Reginald in co7nmand of the Prize. 213 

board now, and may be appointed to do duty as first 
lieutenant," remarked Ben. 

" I shouldn't mind him alone," answered Dick. " When 
he hasn't his master to hound him on, hell let me alone. 
He does it to please the other, and when Lord Reginald's 
eye is off him, he won't bother himself about me." 

As may be supposed, Ben aad Dick had very little 
time for conversation. They were speedily called to 
trim sails, and the scanty crew of the prize, beginning 
to get weary from their constant exertions, were looking 
out for the frigate to heave to, a sign that the boats were 
about to return. She waited, however, until daylight 
broke, when once more, having gathered the convoy 
together, she hove to, and the prize coming up, doing 
the same, the boats were soon alongside. 

" I say, Ben," said Dick, as they approached, " it is my 
belief that Lord Reginald is to have command, for there 
he sits, with his dog by his side, and a big portmanteau 
between his knees. I'd sooner be out of this craft than in 
her. I hope we shall be sent on board the frigate again." 

Dick was right. Lord Reginald, his dog and port- 
manteau, were soon on board. He presented some 
papers to Mr. Jager, who replied' 


"Very well, I congratulate you on having so fine a 
command, and I confess that I wish I had been able to 
take charge of the prize, but as the doctor considers me 
unfit to be away from him, I must submit. Who are to 
form the prize crew?'' 

"Voules and Lucas, the men on board, as well as 
the men I brought with me," answered Lord Reginald. 
" They'll do very well, and, as we are rather short-handed, 
no more could be spared from the frigate." 

214 ^-^^ Rival Crusoes. 

"Then all I have to do is to wish you good-bye and 
a pleasant cruise. It's fortunate we had not to lire into 
her, or the vessel must have gone into harbour to refit. 
Now she's as well able to keep the sea as she ever was." 

" I hope her late master was a man of taste, and has 
some good curry and plenty of cuddy stores," said the 
young lord, laughing; "and I say, Jager, I wish you'd 
ask the captain to send me back the French cook. 
He'll know best how to dress his own provisions, and I 
should like to keep a good table while I am on board." 

" I'll do your bidding," answered Mr. Jager, and shak- 
ing hands with Lord Reginald and his two subordinates, 
he returned in the boat to the frigate. 

The Marie proved herself to be a capital sailer, a 

quality her crew had counted on when they ventured to 

attack the Dunmore Castle^ expecting to be able to 
pillage her and get away before daylight. 

Lord Reginald walked the deck with a self-satisfied 
air, which was w^ell imitated by Voules and Lucas. The 
young lord invited them into the cabin to mess with 
him, an honour they gladly accepted. " We shall have 
a jolly time of it," he said, "and I hope old Moubray 
will send us on an independent cruise when we get to 

" He'll have to send us more men, then, for we are 
too short-handed to meet an enemy," said Voules ; " other- 
wise, I'd rather not go at all'' 

"No fear on that score," observed Lord Reginald. 
"^We shall get as many as we want out of the merchant 
vessels. They must spare us their men, whether they 
like it or not. By-the-by, that young Hargrave is on 

board ; I would have dispensed with his services. The 

Dick ill-treated. 215 

very sight of him is annoying. He eyes me with the 
same daring, impudent look he always did, and I shouldn't 
be surprised if he and the other smuggler were to try 
and get up a mutiny on board, if they have the op- 

" I'll see that he plays no trick of that sort," answered 
Voules. " I'll take the spirit out of him, depend upon 
it, and make him wish that he had remained on board 
the frigate." 

" I don*t want him treated unjustly, or punished un- 
less he gives occasion by his conduct," remarked Lord 

" Oh, no, no," answered Voules, with a significant 
smile; *'^ ol course not. The truth is, I have a grudge 
against him myself. The other night I heard him, when 
he didn*t know I was near, speaking of me as * Toady 

" Did he, indeed ? " said Lord Reginald, leaning back 
and laughing. ** Why, that's the name you've got in the 
mess. Ah, ah, ah I However, for one of the men to 
make use of it is next door to mutiny. They must not be 
allowed to speak so disrespectfully of their officers." 

Voules, who was considerably irritated by his superior's 
remark, did not fail to exercise his ill feelings on Dick, 
and not a day passed that he did not find some excuse 
for ill treating him and making him perform the most un- 
pleasant duties. Voules, like other men of mean spirit, 
delighted in acting the tyrant ; indeed, had he wished Xo 
create a mutiny, he took the most effectual means of 
causing one. He had now numberless opportunities which 
he could not have obtained on board the frigate. He was 
constantly abusing the men during every operation they 

2i6 The Rival Crusoes. 

were ordered to perform, though his chief displeasure fell 
on the heads of Ben and Dick, who were instantly placed 
on the black list, when their grog was stopped and they 
were compelled to walk the deck with a shot in each hand 
during their watch below, or other punishments were in- 
flicted. Dick, as he had resolved, kept his temper and 
submitted without complaint to this injustice ; but Ben 
nourished a spirit of revenge, and secretly formed a plan 
for wreaking his vengeance on the heads of his persecutors. 
With this object in view, he found out who among the 
crew were most dissatisfied and were likely to join him in 
his project He did not, however, venture to speak to 
Dick. He fully believed that he should in time win him 
over. " He'll do something or other before long, which 
will rouse even his spirit," he said to himself, and " then 
he'll be more ready than any of us to do what I want." 

Although the provisions in the cuddy were of good 
quality, and there was a sufficient supply for ten times the 
number of the commander's limited mess, those of the 
crew were scanty and of bad quality, and it seemed sur- 
prising that Frenchmen should have consented to live 
upon such fare. 

The steward told the men of the abundance which 
existed aft, but when they complained through Mr. Voules 
to Lord Reginald, they were told that the provisions 
intended for the cabin could not be spared, and that they 
must be content with what they had got. Neither did Dick 
nor any of his officers dream of what was going forward. 

The convoy was approaching its destination. The lone 
had rejoined the day after the capture of the Marie, but 
no other event of general importance had occurred. The 

fleet was now within two hundred miles of the Straits of 

A Chase comme7tced, 21*] 

Sunda, when from the masthead of the Mark, which was 
to leeward, a sail was seen to the southward. 

She immediately communicated this by signal to the 

Wolf^ and received in return an order to chase the 

stranger and ascertain her character. The other part of 

the signal was either not seen, or misunderstood by Lucas. 

"Up with the helm !" cried Lord Reginald; "square 
away the yards ! If the fellow doesn't appear to be too 
tough a customer, we will bring him to action and sail 
back in triumph." 

The young lord did not observe the expression which 
passed over Voules's countenance, but fully believed that 
they had been ordered to chase, and, if to chase, to fight 
the vessel in sight, should she not prove to be an enemy 
of overwhelming force. Though Voules had never shown 

the white feather, he was decidedly prudent, and he re- 
membered the Marie's limited crew, which, though suf- 
ficient to navigate her, was not strong enough to man 
the guns. 

The Marie looked more formidable than she really was, 
and as she approached the stranger made all sail to escape. 
The latter soon showed that her sailing powers were not 
much inferior to those of the Marie, by keeping almost 
the same distance ahead as she had been when she first 
discovered that she was pursued. 

The Marie soon lost sight of the fleet. Voules sug- 
gested that as there was no probability of coming up with 
the chase for many hours, that they should haul their wind 
and stand back. 

"Certainly I will not do that/' answered Lord Reginald 
" Captain Moubray must have known that we could not 
come up with her m a hurry, and intended that we should 

2i8 The Rival Crzcsoes. 

overhaul her. We are gaining on her, and if we continue 
the chase and do not lose sight of her during the night, 
we shall probably, some time to-morrow, get alongside." 

" If we get so far away we shall find it no easy matter 
to regain the fleet," observed Voules. " The chase may 
not prove to be worth the trouble we are taking to capture 


" That remains to be proved," answered Lord Reginald. 
" If you feel uncomfortable, turn in and go to sleep, per- 
haps when you awake you will find that we have fought 
an action, and taken the enemy." 

Voules reddened at the taunt. It was a cruel return, 
he thought, for all the flattery he had bestowed on the 
young lord, " I have no wish to avoid a fight, but I say 
again, there is no chance of its taking place for many 

hours to come, at least at the slow rate at which we are 
now overhauling the chase, and if we take her — which is 

problematical — we shall find it a difficult matter to rejoin 
the convoy." 

Lord Reginald was in one of his obstinate moods. 
The more Voules urged him to abandon the chase, the 
more determined he was to continue it. 

The wind remained fresh, and he asserted that they 
were gaining on the chase, 

Dick and Ben were stationed forward. 

" How soon do you think we shall come up with that 
craft ? " asked Dick. 

" Maybe to-morrow and maybe the next day, if we 
follow her long enough and the wind doesn't shift. But 

if it does, and she slips away to windward, the chances 

are we shan't see her again. The weather doesn't look 

very settled to my eye, though I am not accustomed to 

The Stranger still in Sight, 219 

these seas, but I have heard tell that it blows pretty 
strong hereabouts at times." 

The day wore on ; still the chase kept well ahead. 

She was probably bound to one of the Dutch settlements 
in the Moluccas, and intended to pass through the Straits 
of Lombok or some other passage into those seas to the 
east of Java. 

Night came on. It was bright, and the stranger could 
still be distinguished as she glided over the moonlit sea. 

" Everything is in our favour," observed Lord Reginald 
to Voules ; "but we must take care not to lose sight of 
her for a moment. Take care that sharp-eyed fellows are 
stationed on the forecastle. I must turn in for a spell, 
though do not fail to call me should anything occur." 

"Ay, ay, sir," answered Voules, though he grumbled 
not a little, as he went forward to see that his lordship's 
orders were carried out. He found Ben and Dick on the 
forecastle. "Can you see the chase?" he asked, pre- 
tending not to notice who they were. 

"Ay, ay, sir. It must be a pretty deal darker than 
it now is, not to see her," answered Ben. 

" Well, well, take care that you keep her in sight, and 
sing out if she changes her course.*' 

"Ay, ay, sir," answered Ben, and Voules went aft 
again earnestly hoping that thick weather would come on, 
and that the chase would be lost sight of. He could 
then throw the blame on the two look-out men, who 
would not be likely to escape punishment. They, how- 
ever, during their watch, had no difficulty in keeping the 
chase in sight ; when they turned in she appeared right 
ahead as clear as ever, with the moonbeams shining on 
her white canvas. 


220 The Rival Crusoes. 

Wlien Lord Reginald came on deck at the commence- 
ment of the morning watch, the chase could still be seen, 
and he felt convinced that the Marie had gained upon 
her. This made him determined to hold on. The sky, 
however, gave indications of a change of weather. Dark 
clouds were gathering in the horizon astern, while the 
wind came in fitful gusts, sometimes falling so much that 
the sails flapped against the masts. As the sun rose, the 
whole sky was suffused with a fiery glow, which, reflected 
on the ocean, made it appear like a sea of burnished 
copper. As the sun rose higher the heat became almost 
unbearable, growing more and more oppressive. 

" Does your lordship recollect that we are in the region 
of hurricanes ? " asked Voules. " It would be prudent to 
shorten sail" 

"Not until the chase does, though. I wouldn't for 
much lose the chance of coming up with her. If we hold 
on for another two or three hours, we can. get her within 
range of our guns. We have been gaining on her faster 
than ever lately.'' 

" If the wind catches us and whips the masts out of the 
ship, the ' holding on ' will do us little good," replied 

" Well, we will see about it by-and-by," said Lord 
Reginald, who was on the point of going down below to 
breakfast, the steward having just announced that the 
meal was ready. 

The midshipman Lucas was left in charge of the deck. 

Soon afterwards an old seaman, who acted as quarter- 
master, came up to him. Touching his hat, he said 

"Won't you order the hands to shorten sail, sir? 
We can't tell when we shall have the wind down upon us. 

The Prize in a Httr^dcane, 221 

and we shall be losing some of our sparSj if no worse 


" His lordship wants to come up with the chase first, 
though I should be glad to have some canvas taken in." 

Just then the look-out forward shouted, " The chase is 
shortening sail, and is hauling up to the northward !'' 

Lucas ran aft and shouted down through the skylight, 
announcing what had occurred. " Shall we shorten sail, 
too, sir ? " he asked. 

Voules sprang on deck, and looking round liim, with- 
out waiting for Lord Reginald's orders cried out, " All 
hands shorten sail ! '' 

The royals were quickly handed, but there was brief 
time to stow the canvas before the wind filled the sails, 
and away flew the ship before it The fore top-gallant sail, 
imperfectly secured, blew out, and in an instant was torn 
into shreds, which fluttered wildly for a few seconds, and 
became wrapped in inextricable coils round the yard. 
The courses were next brailed up, but it was hard work 
to stow them. Lord Reginald saw, when too late, that it 
would have been wiser to shorten sail before the wind 
struck the ship. All hands were now employed m reeling 
the topsails, for the masts bent like willow wands. Though 
the ship was kept before the wind, there was great risk of 
their being carried away. Two hands were sent to the 
helm, but even they had the greatest difficulty to steer 
the ship. The only hope of saving the masts was in 
keeping directly before the wind until the canvas could 
be taken off her. The mizzen-topsail had been furled. 
The main-topsail was already on the cap, when a loud 
report was heard as it was split, and fluttering violently 
threatened to carry away the men off die yard. 

2 22 The Rival Crusoes, 

The crew with their knives endeavoured to cut it adrift, 
when they were called do^^^l to assist in securing the 
foresail. It was of the greatest importance to keep head 
sail on the ship, lest she should broach to. The sea was 
rising, sending the spray in thick masses over the ship. 
obscuring all objects round her. 

Dick and Ben had been actively engaged aloft. 

" I say, Ben, what's become of the chase ? " asked Dick, 
shading his eyes and looking out ahead through the driv- 
ing sheets of spray. 

" That's more than you or I or any one else can tell. 
She may be where she was, or she mayn't. Mortal eyes 
can't see through that thick mist ahead, and we are not 
likely to set ours on her again even if she keeps afloat, and 
that's more than I can say any ship will do if it comes on 
to blow much harder than it does now. I thought I 
knew what a gale of wind was, but this beats all I have 
ever seen. Old Harry Cane rampaging about on board 
with a vengeance ! " 

The hurricane had in truth burst on the Marie^ and the 
utmost skill of the best seamen was required to preserve 
her from destruction. All that day she ran on before the 
wind. Spilling-lines had been got over the closely 
reefed fore-topsail, but even then it seemed that the sail 
would break away. With a report like a clap of thunder 
the mizz en-top sail was blown clean away from the bolt 
ropes. The royal masts were seen bending about like 
fishing-rods, first one way then the other. The lee clue 

of the fore top-gallant sail was blown adrift Two hands 
went aloft to endeavour to stow it. One of the poor 
fellows, in making the attempt, was torn from his hold. A 
wild shriek was heard as he sank into the seething foancv 

In a Critical Position, 223 

without hope of being rescued. The other, pale and 
trembling, came down, leaving the sails fluttering wildly. 
Scarcely had he reached the deck than away went the 
fore top-gallant mast over the side. 

Lord Reginald bravely maintained his presence of mind, 
endeavouring to act for the best, as he stood holding on 
to the mizzen rigging while he issued his orders, Voules 
looked pale and anxious ; he comprehended fully the 
dangerous position of the ship. Unknown islands were 
ahead^ against one of which she might strike with but 
little warning. Again he urged the men to keep a look- 
out, not for the chase but for land, now so much dreaded. 

Lord Reginald came aft, and stood by his friend, 
" Well, Voules; things don't look promising/' he said, in 
as cheerful a voice as he could command. 

" No, and they may look worse, if we find ourselves 
running down on one of the many islands which dot 
these seas." 

" We must keep a bright look-out, and haul up in time," 
replied the young commander oi the Marie, 

" But if we do haul up with this hurricane raging and 
this sea running, we may drift on shore notwithstanding," 
answered Voules. " Our only chance will be to endeavour 
to get round the island, if we see it in time, and to anchor 
under its lee, if holding ground can be found, and wait 
there until the storm is over." 

" We will have a look at the chart, and ascertain how 
far off the land is," said Lord Reginald. 

Going below, he and Voules eagerly examined the 
chart. No islands appeared for some distance ahead. 
To the northward, was the east end of Java, with Bali, 
Sumbawa, and Floris, extending in a long line beyond it. 

224. The Rival Crusoes, 

Should the wind shift to the southward, they might run 
through one of the passages existing between those 
islands ; but still, the ship was a considerable distance to 
the southward of them, and they hoped that the hurricane 
would cease before they were driven thus far. On re- 
turning on deck, the wind appeared to have increased 
rather than decreased. As they were standing together, 
looking anxiously at the bending masts, the remaining 
top-gallant sails were torn from their lashings, and before 
any hands could be sent aloft to secure them, the masts 
themselves were carried away and the lately trim ship 
looked now almost a wreck. To cut them clear was a 
work of no little danger. The men saw what was re- 
quired. Several volunteered, notwithstanding the risk 
they ran, to go aloft. Among them was Dick. With 
knives and axes they cut desperately at the rigging, until, 
as the ship heeled over, they fell clear of her into the 
water. Relieved of so much top hamper, she appeared 
to be greatly eased. Another night was approaching, but 
the storm raged as furiously as before. All night long 
the ship ran on, the seas increasing in height, and 
threatening every instant to poop her. Although for a 
short time Lord Reginald turned in, yet neither he nor 
any one on board could obtain much sleep. Several times 
he came on deck, only to see the ship labouring on amid 
the foaming billows. 

Another morning dawned, the weather looking as wild 
as on the previous day. Few on board failed to ask 
themselves, " Shall we see another sunset ? " Again and 
again Lord Reginald and Voules examined the chart, with 
anxious forebodings of evil. They saw that numerous 
islands and reefs lay ahead of them. Lord Reginald 

The Ship in Danger, 225 

proposed hauling the ship up before dark, to escape the 
risk of running on one of them during the night. Voules 
feared that if it was done the canvas would not stand, and 
that she would then be drifted helplessly on any reef or 
island in her way. No sun was to be seen ; the whole sky 
wore one uniformly leaden hue, while the dark seas of the 
same tint rose and fell, their tops covered with masses of 
foam which, blown off by the wind, filled the atmosphere. 

"Should there come a lull, we will haul up," exclaimed 
Lord Reginald. 

'' We shall do it at our peril," observed Voules. 

** It must be done," was the answer. " Stand by to haul 
out the spanker ! Starboard the helm ! " 

The ship as she came to heeled over almost on her 
beam ends, while the seas broke over her, driving the 
masses of spray into the eyes of the crew, so that they 

could scarcely see a few yards before them, while the lee 
side of the deck was almost under water. Although no 
signs of a leak had hitherto been discovered, the acting 
carpenter, who had been ordered to sound the well, came 
aft with a pale face, announcing that a large quantity of 
water had ionndL its way below. 

"Man the pumps !" was the answer, and the already hard- 
worked crew were soon labouring away to clear the ship. 
So often, however, were the nozzles of the pumps under 
water, that the men could not tell whether they were 
drawing or not, and the cry, " Hold on for your lives ! '* 
compelled them frequently to let go and clamber into 
the rigging, or hold on by the stanchions, while a furious 
sea swept over the deck, threatening to cany them 

Again darkness had come on. Except a closely reefed 

226 The Rival Crusoes. 

fore-topsail and mizzen-trysail, not a sail remained. She 
was furiously plunging into the seas, when once more a 
report was heard, and the fore-topsail was seen blowing 
away in shreds. Directly afterwards the spanker gaff 
came down, and now not a shred Of canvas remained, 
the ship in consequence drifting bodily to leeward. 
Most of the crew were forward, the officers and some of 
the men remaining on the poop. Among the former 
were Dick and Ben. 

"I thought things were getting veiy bad," said Ben, 
"They could not be worse." 

" What, then, do you think will happen?" asked Dick. 

" Why, we shall either go down or be driven ashore. 
It matters little which, for if the ship strikes there's little 
chance of any of us reaching the land, with these seas 
breaking over her, and then sweeping everything before 
them. I know what it is on our own coast. With such 
a hurricane as we have got blowing, it will be ten times 


"Then is there no chance of saving our lives if we 
strike?" asked Dick. 

" Our best chance is to get hold of a piece of wreck 
and hold fast to it. You may be washed on shore, or you 
may be carried out to sea — it is six of one and half a dozen 
of the other. You may depend upon it, there's a watery 
grave for some of us before the night is over." 

Dick felt his heart sink, but he remembered the prayers 
his mother had taught him. He tried to pray for him- 
self; he knew, too, that she would be praying for him. 
His courage rose, he determined to struggle bravely for 

Ben advised that they should go forward and stick to 

The Land seen to Leeward, 22"] 

the forecastle. " That generally holds together the longest, 
and will give us a better chance of life," he observed. 
" Don't let go until the ship breaks up, and then you 
will have no choice, and must do as I before told you." 

Dick replied that he would follow his advice, and the/' 
made their way to the forecastle. 

As may be supposed, it was only by speaking at the 
tops of their voices that they could make each other heard. 
Their sentences, therefDre, were brief and to the point. 
In the mean time, Lord Reginald, with Voules and Lucas, 
clung on to the mizzen rigging ; near them were gathered 
the few men who had come aft. Anxiously they looked 
to leeward, hoping against hope that they might ?X\^ be at 
a distance from land. The stout ship was drifted on, the 
hapless people on board frequently being covered by the 
seas which broke over her. At last Voules uttered an 
exclamation of dismay. 

" I caught sight of land close under our lee ; before ten 
minutes are over we shall be upon it," he cried out; "and 
Heaven have mercy on our souls ! " 

" We must look out for a spot on which to run her, 
and if we lose her, we may save our lives," said Lord 

But although the attempt was made, the ship would 
not answer her helm. An anxious gaze was cast at the 
dark shore, on which the roar of the breakers could be 
distinctly heard. All they could now do was to cling to 
the bulwarks until the fatal crash came, and after that, 
how long the stout ship would hold together it v/as im- 
possible to say. Much would depend upon the ground 
on which she was thrown. If on rocks projecting from 
the shore, she would in all probability be soon dashed to 

2 28 The Rival Crusoes. 

pieces. Even the stoutest seamen held their breath as 
they waited for the inevitable catastrophe. 

Lord Reginald, as he stood on the deck, could feel the 
ship now as she rose, now as she fell in the trough of the sea, 
surging on closer and closer to the dreaded coast. Those 
agonizing moments were not to last long. At length came 
a fearful crash. The mainmast, as if torn up by some 
invisible hand, fell over the side, the foremast and mizzen- 
mast following in quick succession. 

" She*s struck, she's struck t All's lost, all's lost ! " cried 
several of the crew ; while many who had liitherto shown 
ample courage in battle, shrieked out in their agony of 

"Hold on, until the ship breaks upl" cried Lord 
Reginald. " We may have a chance of getting on shore 
in the morning." 

Though he gave this advice, he had little hope of its 
being followed. Sea after sea continued to dash against 
the ship, and he feared, from the cries which reached him, 
that many of his men were being torn from their hold and 
carried away. He could just distinguish Voules and 
Lucas clinging to the bulwarks a short distance from him. 
Now he cast his eyes on the dark shore with a line of 
foaming breakers between him and it. Then he looked 
seawards, and as he looked he saw an enormous black 
wave advancing, higher, it seemed to him, than any of 
its predecessors. On it came, and struck the ship, with 
a blow resounding louder than the loudest thunder. 
The centre of the ship seemed to melt away with part of 

the poop, carrying off several who had been clinging to 
it. No one could render help to another. It was each 
nian for himself. He saw a figure, which he Imew to be 

The Skip wrecked, 229 

young Lucas, caught by the sea and whirled round and 
round. Voules still remained, holding on to the bulwarks. 
Then another sea came ; he felt the poop breaking up 
beneath his feet. In another instant he found himself 
among the foaming breakers, surrounded by masses of 
wreck. He sank, but again coming to the surface, 
clutched a piece of timber. It was of too small a size to 
float him. He was rolled over and over, until compelled 
to let go. As he did so he saw close to him a large 
beam, with a bolt projecting from one end. Grasping 
the bolt, he got astride of the beam, being thus enabled 
to keep his body above the water, though he ran a risk of 
having his legs injured by the heavy pieces of wood 
dashing about on all sides. In vain he shouted, to 
ascertain if Voules or Lucas were near him. The only 
objects he could distinguish were the masses of dark 
timber amid the white, foaming breakers, and the outline 
of the rocky shore. It seemed even then doubtful 
whether he should ever reach that shore. Once, indeed, 
he fancied that he saw a human form clinging to a spar 
at no great distance from him, but unable to direct the 
movements of the piece of timber on which he floated, he 
could render no assistance to the hapless person, who 
returned no answer to his shouts. His own fate seemed 
uncertain. Should the timber be dashed against the 
rocks, he would in all probability be ground to pieces 
before he could escape, but on looking towards the land, 

he fancied that he could make out a sandy beach. He 
prayed that the timber to which he clung might be 
directed to it. Still, as he heard the fearful roar oi the 
breakers, and watched the masses of foam which swept 
towards the shore, he felt the uncertainty that he should 

230 Tfie Rival Crusoes. 

ever reach it. Several times he was nearly torn from his 
hold by the masses of WTeck driven against him. His 
strength was decreasing. Another sea came rolling on, 
it might wash him from his hold. He clung to the bolt 
with all his might, and almost the next moment he felt 
his feet touch the ground. At first he was afraid of 
letting go. The second time he put down his feet he trod 
on the sand. Fearful that the beam which had carried 
him in safety might roll over and crush him, he let go, 
and making a last effort, struggled upwards. The foam- 
ing seas washed round his legs, and tlireatened to carry 
him back, but on he struggled, gasping for breath until 
the dry ground was reached, and then, by one strenuous 
effort, getting out of the reach of the water, his strength 
giving way, he sank to the ground, utterly exhausted. 


Death of Voules — AU lost — Despair of Lord Reginald — Neptune — 
Water found — A mournful duty — Burying the drowned — Re- 
morse — The rival Crusoes — The last of poor Ben — Stone 
throwing — Nothing but clams — Neptune and the pigeon — The 
body of Lucas discovered — Good intentions — An angry meet- 
ing — Neptune's dislike to shell-fish — A perilous swim — Looking 
over the island — Another stormy encounter — Labour in vain — 
Pride against reason — Bow-making — -Nep finds a treasure. 

ORD REGINALD lay for some minutes on the 
beach utterly exhausted, but not senseless. He 
recollected vividly all that had occurred. So 
battered and bruised did he feel, it seemed to him that he 
had only escaped from drowning to die a more lingering 
death on the barren shore, or to be massacred by the savage 
inhabitants of the island on which he had been cast. 

" Is it my fate alone to have escaped among all the 
stout fellows who manned the ship ? " he at length asked 
himself. " Perhaps even now some are struggling in the 
waves, and as I have been carried in safety to the shore, 
I ought to try and help them," 

This thought made him attempt to rise, and he found 

232 The Rival Crusoes, 

that he could do so with less difficulty than he had sup- 
posed possible. The wind had begun to fall almost 
directly after the ship had struck, but still the seas rolled 
in as heavily as before. He knew, weak as he was, 
should he venture into their power, that he might be 
lifted off his feet and carried away in their cruel embrace. 
On looking around he saw a mass of broken spars, torn 
canvas, and running rigging thrown up within his reach. 
On examining it he found that he could unreeve some of 
the rope. He set energetically to work. 

By using a knife which he fortunately had in his pocket, 
he was able to cut off several lengths, wliich, knotting 
together, formed a long rope. Taking three spars he 
forced them with all his might, in the form of a triangle, 
into the sand, and secured one end of the rope to the 
spar nearest the sea, while the other end he fastened 
round his waist. This done he was able to advance 
further into the water than he would otherwise have 
ventured to do. 

He stood listening and straining his eyes over the foaming 
masses which continued to roll up unceasingly before him. 
He could distinguish the black ledge upon which the 
Marie had struck on one side, and on the other a loftv 
point which ran out io an equal distance forming the bay 
on the shore of which he had been thrown. The waters 
of the bay appeared still covered with floating masses of 
Tvreck tumbling and tossing about. While he was look- 
ing a crescent moon broke through the clouds, revealing 
to him for an instant what he supposed was the bows of 
the ship still holding together. The next instant the 
moon was obscured, and the object shut out from sight. 
Some of the crew might still be clinging to it, and if sq 

Lord Reginald alone on Shore, 233 

he might not be left entirely alone. He shouted again 
and again, but no answer came ; indeed, the roar of the 
breakers prevented his voice being heard at that distance. 
Some one might be chnging to any of the pieces of 
wreck floating about before him. 

He hstened, and at length fancied that he heard a faint 
cry. He gazed anxiously in the direction from whence 
he believed it came. He had picked up a long stick, so 
that he might the better be able to resist the force of the 

breakers should they surround him, or prevent him being 
carried off as they receded from the beach. Again he 
shouted, and once more fancied he heard a faint cry. 

Yes, it was a human voice borne to him by the 
wind across the seething waters. He waited anxiously 
for the re-appearance of the moon, hoping that her light 
would enable him to discover the whereabouts of his 

shipmate, whoever he might be. He wished to save life, 
but he wished also to have a companion to share his 

At length, the moon appearing, he saw a piece of wreck, 
to which a human being was clinging, being carried by 
every succeeding sea closer and closer to the beach. The 
man was evidently lashed to it, or he could not have 
clung on. Lord Reginald at once saw the difficulty there 
would be in extricating him before the beam was rolled 
over and over. He again got out his knife that he might 
cut the lashings. The beam was almost within his reach, 
he could clearly see that it bore a man who, however, 
neither cried out nor made a sign that he was alive. 
" Still, the poor fellow may recover," thought Lord Regi- 
nald, and rushing forward as the next sea threw the piece 
of timber on the beach, he at once seized the inanimate 

234 ^^ Rival Crusoes, 

form, cut the rope, and with a strength he scarcely be- 
heved himself to possess, dragged it up out of the reach 
of the water. As he did so he saw by the uniform that 
it was his own messmate Voules. 

He laid him on the dry beach, and having loosened the 
handkerchief round his neck, knelt down by his side, and 
endeavoured to restore him to animation by chafing his 
hands and chest. After he had been thus engaged for 
some time, he heard Voules emit a low sigh. 

" He is not dead, at all events, and may, I trust, be 
restored ! " he exclaimed, resuming his efforts. 

Voules sighed again, but still lay without making any 
effort to move. Lord Reginald looked round to try and 
ascertain ii any place which would afford him and his 
shipmate shelter from the night air, was near. He could 
only see black rocks rising up above the beach, though 
in one place there appeared to be an opening, but it was 
too dark to distinguish whether there were trees beyond. 

" It will never do to remain here all night,'' he said to 
himself; " it is still some hours off morning, and we both 
of us may perish." 

The effort he had to make to take care of his friend 

was of the greatest benefit to himself. It prevented his 

thoughts dwelling on his own sufferings. He tried to lift 
up his companion, to carry him in his arms, but his 

strength was insufficient, and after going a few paces he 
was obliged to let him sink again on the ground. 

" Voules, Voules, my dear fellow, do speak ! " he 
exclaimed ; " tell me where you are hurt. What can I do 
for you ? You are safe on shore. If you could but arouse 
yourself, we might get under shelter." 

But Voules only gave an occasional sigh. He seemed 

Voules resetted, 235 

too weak almost to groan. Again Lord Reginald at- 
tempted to carry him towards an overhanging rock which 
rose at some distance beyond the beach. In this he 
succeeded better than at first, and after stopping two 
or three times he reached it. To his satisfaction, he 
discovered that there was a small cave, the bottom 
covered with dry sand. This would, at all events, afford 
a more comfortable resting-place than the open beach, as 
well as shelter from the rain, which now came on in dense 
showers. It was so dark, however, that he could not see 
his companion's features. Seating himself by his side, he 
once more began to chafe his hands and breast, he then 
turned him on one side, when his patient threw up some 
of the water which he had swallowed. Thus relieved, 
Voules appeared to recover slightly, 

" You'll do well, I hope, my poor fellow, if you would 
but pluck up courage," said Lord Reginald. "When 
daylight returns we shall find some food and water." 

** I fear not," answered Voules, in a faint voice. " I am 
bruised all over, and I feel as if my right leg was broken." 

" I hope not," said Lord Reginald, examining the limb 
To his dismay he found that Voules was right " We 
must try and set it," he observed ; " though it will prevent 
you being of much use for some time to come, you must 
not despair on that account. I earnestly hope that some 
of the men may have escaped to help us, though I could 
discover no one on the part of the beach where we were 


Voules groaned deeply. " I am much obliged to you, 

Oswald, for what you have done for me, but it is of no 

use. I almost wish that you had left me to perish in the 

sea, for I feel that I am dying. It is very terrible ; I have 


22i(> The Rival Crusocs. 

all sorts of sins on my conscience. Then I think of how 
I encouraged you to get that young Hargrave and the 
older man Rudall carried off from their homes, and how 
they have both now probably been lost It seems to me 
as if their deaths were at my door." 

"If they are at yours, they are at mine also," said Lord 
Reginald. " I dislike the fellows, and though I should be 
thankful if any of the crew escaped, I should not like to 
see their faces. The chances are they would wreak their 
vengeance on our heads, helpless as we are, without the 
slightest means of defence." 

" I should be thankful to think that we had not been 
the cause of their deaths," said Voules. 

"Well, well, don't talk about them, but try and get 
some sleep, old fellow ; it will restore your strength more 
than anything else." 

Voules groaned. " I shall never sleep again, until the 
last sleep of all," he muttered. 

" Try, try," said Lord Reginald ; " 111 sit up and keep 

" Thank you," murmured Voules. 

Lord Reginald was silent, but Voules's heavy breathing 
and the low moans to which he gave vent, showed that 
his slumbers were troubled, if he slept at all. The young 
lord could understand how much his companion suffered 
from the pains which racked his own body, and yet, with the 
exception of the few bruises he had received, he was unhurt. 
Por a long time he sat and watched, earnestly wishing 
for day, and at length he himself sank down on the sand 
and fell asleep. His dreams, too, were troubled. All the 
horrors of the shipwreck were ever present to his thoughts. 
Now he fancied himself struggling in the waves, now 

Death of Votiles, 2^j 

reaching the beach, but in vain attempting to climb up it, 
the seas carrying him back every time his feet touched the 
firm ground. He awoke with a start, fancying that Voules 
was calhng him. The sun had risen, and the rays were 
streaming across the white sand in front of the cave. 
The storm had ceased, though the seas still came rolling 
sluggishly on, dashing into foam as they reached the 

" Did you call, Voules ? " he asked, raising himself on 
his elbow to look at his companion, who however made 
no answer. " I must not awaken him," he said j " sleep 
will do him more good than anything else. I must go 
out and try and find some fresh water and food of some 

He got up on his feet ; though he felt weak, he was able 
to walk. He was about to go out, when he cast a glance 
at Voules. He started back with horror, as he saw the 
pallid countenance before him, the glazed eyes staring 
wildly, the fallen jaw. 

"Can he be dead?" he exclaimed, stooping down. 
He could not discover the faintest breathing. He lifted 
an arm, it fell lifeless on the sand. " Voules, Voules ! " 
he almost shrieked out ; " speak but one word to me." 

No answer came from those open lips, and he saw too 
evidently that his companion was dead. The horrors of 
his situation burst upon him with more force than ever. 
He was alone in that apparently desert island ; no one 
to consult with, no one even to speak to. He threw 
himself on the sand, and for some time lay almost as 
motionless as the inanimate form near him, believing 
that he himself would die. Then the desire to prolong 
his life returned. A burning thirst oppressed him; though 

238 The Rival Crusoes. 

he had eaten nothing since the previous day at noon, he 
felt but little hunger. He was about to leave the cavern 
in the hopes of discovering a spring, when he saw in the 
distance an object moving towards him. 

At first he thought it must be some wild beast, but pre- 
sently his favourite dog, Neptune, hove in sight, and 
came rushing on, leaping up, uttering loud barks of joy, 
placing his paws on his shoulders, and trying to lick his 

"Where have you come from, Nep ? " he asked. ** Your 
coat is perfectly dry, you must have been on shore some 
hours." But Nep only wagged his tail, and bounded 
round and round him. Lord Reginald fondly patted the 
dog's head. " Thank Heaven, you have been saved, Nep. 
I have one trusty companion left, and I must not lose 

The dog seemed to understand him, and redoubled his 
signs of satisfaction. Suddenly he stopped, and looked 
towards the body of Voules, then he approached it cau- 
tiously, and after examining it for a moment he set up a 
loud howl, and turning round, ran crouching back to his 


master, as if fully conscious of the fate of the unhappy 
young man. 

" Yes, he's gone, in truth ! " said Lord Reginald. 
" You and I are now alone. We must set out to try and 
find a spring and some food, if they exist on this dreadful 
spot; but you don't look either hungry or thirsty. Per- 
haps you have found a spring. Come along, Nep ; come 
along ! " So saying, Lord Reginald, accompanied by 
the dog, directed his steps towards an opening in the 
line of cliffs which circled round the bay. As he ad- 
vanced, the opening widened out, and to his joy he saw 

Search for Food. 239 

numerous cocoanut and other trees. At first he could 
discover no sign of a spring. 

" That verdure cannot exist without water/' he said to 
himself; " there must be some near at hand. Surely, if it 
exists Nep will find it." As he advanced further he found 
himself in a small valley running directly up from the sea, 
and shortly aftenvards his eye fell on the sheen of water. 
It appeared to be a stream running down the centre and 
losing itself in the porous sand before it reached the ocean. 
He uttered a cry of joy, and pushed forward. He was soon 
stooping down, lapping the water up eagerly with his hand. 
He then began to feel the pangs of hunger. The only 
fruit he could discover were cocoanuts, but they hung so 
high above his head that he had no hope of obtaining 
any. He was too weak to attempt climbing even the 

smallest of the trees on which they grew. He thought of 
various devices for bringing them down. He might man- 
age to get some could he fmd a long thin line which, by 
means of a stone, he might throw over the boughs. Then 
he searched about for other food. He looked also 
anxiously for human habitations. The sun beat down with 
intense heat into the valley, and the tall trees afforded 
but little shade. He was compelled at length to retreat 
towards the cavern. That, at all events, would be cool, 
he thought. A few more cocoanut trees only had to be 
passed, when, just as he was going under the boughs of 
one, he saw a large brown mass covered with fibre lying 
before him. Though he had never before seen a cocoa- 
nut when growing in a wild state, he knew what it was. 
He seized it eagerly, and began tearing off the outer 
cover. Conveying it to the cave, with a piece of stone 
he broke off the top, and having swallowed the refreshing 

240 The Rival Crusoes. 

juice in the interior, he soon broke it to pieces so as to 
get at the flesh. With this he somewhat satisfied the 
gnawings of hunger. 

" Such food won't suit you, my poor dog ! " he said, 
looking at Nep. However, the dog wagged his tail, and 
very readily swallowed a few of the pieces cut out of the 
shell, which his master threw him. He had now to con- 
sider what was next to be done. His eye fell on the body 
of poor Voules. 

" He was a miserable counsellor, and did me harm by 
attempting to flatter me; though I confess that I had but 
little real regard for him, I certainly wish that he was still 
alive; but as he has gone, I must endeavour to pay him 
the respect I would to any fellow-creature, and give him 
decent burial." Saying this, he got up and looked about 
to settle by what means he could accomplish his object 
The shore was strewn with timber and pieces of plank of 
all shapes. Hunting about he soon found a piece which 
would answer his purpose, though had he possessed an 
axe he might have chopped it into a more suitable shape; 
as it was, however, it would have to serve his purpose. 
His next care was to select some fitting spot for the 
grave. He pitched on one under the cliff, where the 
sand appeared sufficiently soft, while the shape of the 
rocks around would make it easily recognized. 

He began to dig away, but the sand fell in almost as 
quickly as he shovelled it out of the pit, and he had 
greatly to increase its size before he could reach any 
depth. He felt sick at heart as he performed his unac- 
customed task. 

Neptune stood by watching him, apparently under- 
standing his object, although he could render qo assistance. 

Lord Reginald buries Votdes. 241 

At last the grave was dug. His courage almost gave way 
as he prepared to place the body of his late companion — 
one whom he had known for so many years — in his last 
resting-place. While chafing Voules's chest he had ob- 
served a locket hanging to a riband. He undid it, that 
he might deliver it to his friends. On opening it he saw- 
that it contained the miniature of a young and pretty 


"Poor thing ! " he said. " She thought him probably 

all that is brave and good. Now she'll value him the 
more because he has gone ! I wouldn't undeceive her for 
worlds, though I have but little chance of ever being able 
to deliver this to his friends. He took his watch, and a 
few other articles. There was a pocket-book, but he had 
neither time nor inclination to look into it Indeed, in 
all probability, whatever writing there was had been 
obliterated by salt water. Among other things was a 
small pocket spyglass, which was likely to prove useful. 
He found, on trying to lift the body, that his strength was 
insufficient for the task, so that he had to drag it by the 
collar of the coat to the edge of the grave, into which he 

managed to lower it. 

" Rest there, my poor shipmate," he said. *' I little 
thought when we were last on shore, amusing ourselves to 
our hearts' content, that such would so soon be your end. 
Yet, what may be mine ? " 

He rested for some moments, gazing with a sort of 
fascination on the dead body^ unwilling to cover it up for 
ever from view. " It must be done ! " he said at length, 
and he began to shovel in the sand, a task which was 
very quickly accomplished. 

" Now I am all alone, the sole inhabitant of tkis island. 

242 The Rival Crusois. 

That, however, would be better than finding it peopled by 
a savage tribe, who would either kill me or make me 
work for them as a slave. Had I the strength, I would 
build a tomb of rock over him, but he'll rest well enough 
without it. I suppose there are no creatures which will 
come and dig him up." 

He would gladly after this have rested in his cave, for 
the rays of the sun, now high in the heavens, beat down 
with intense force on his unprotected head. At the same 
time, the pangs of hunger reminded him that he must go 
in search oi more substantial iood. than cocoanuts y^oviXd, 
afford. He had heard that turtles laid their eggs on the 
sandy beaches of these islands, but whether he should 
find them at this time of the year, or whether the young 
turtles had been hatched and crawled away, he was 
utterly ignorant. As he walked along the shore, he care- 
fully examined the sand, in the hopes of finding some 
mounds or the marks of turtles' feet to show where their 

eggs had been deposited, but not an indication of any 
sort could he discover. 

" I shall have to depend upon shell-fish," he said to 
himself; " there must be numbers sticking to the rocks, 
and I must try and get them off with my knife. I wish 
that I had some fishing-hooks and lines. By scrambling 
out to the end of a reef I might very likely catch as many 
fish as I require, but as I have not the hooks and lines, I 
must manage with what I can get." He sighed as he 
felt his helplessness. On looking along tlie beach he 
saw it covered with pieces of wreck as far as the eye 

could reach. He might at all events find something 
useful among the articles thrown up. He had not got far 

when he caught sight of a human form surging up and 

Dead Bodies fotmd. 243 

down, dose to the beach. It might be some person who, 
having clung on to a piece of the wreck during the night, 
was attempting to reach the shore. He rushed forward 
to assist the man to land, but scarcely had he seized an 
arm than he saw that it was that of a dead body. He 
did not, however, let go his hold, but dragged it up on 
tlie beach. 

" I must bury the poor fellow, at all events," he ob- 
served, looking at the countenance of the man, who was 
one of the ordinary seamen. The discovery of the body 
made him look more narrowly along the beach, and he 
saw several others either thrown up, or floating close to 
the shore. The sight brought Richard Hargrave to his 
recollection. "He is probably among them," he thought, 
" and I was the cause of dragging him away from his home, 
prompted by my revengeful spirit and bad feelings. I 
am as guilty as if I were his murderer. I wish that he 
had made good his escape and remained at home, and I 
would give much now to know that he had reached the 
shore in safety, but that is not likely." He dragged up 
body after body, scanning their countenances anxiously, 

fearing that he should recognize that of Richard Har- 
grave. At last he came to one with grizzled hair and 

beard, which he recognized as that of the smuggler Ben 
Rudall, who had by his means been torn from his home. 
" Unhappy wretch ! By the way Voules and I treated 
him he must have. had a miserable life of it on board. I 
suspect that he and Hargrave, if they had had the oppor- 
tunity, would have treated me as I deserve. Would that 
I could forget the past ! However, I cannot let them lie 
here to rot." On counting the number of bodies he had 
hauled out of the water, he found that there were no less 

244 ^-^^ Rival Crusoes. 

than five. The task was abhorrent to his nature, **I little 
thought that I should ever become a grave-digger ! " he 
exclaimed, bitterly. " However, it must be done ; I 
couldn't rest at night if I knew they were there. I only 
hope that the sea has washed away the remainder, that I 
shall not have to bury the whole of my crew ; perhaps by 
that time I shall become accustomed to it, only every 
day will render the business more horrible." 

The young lord, however, managed to muster up reso- 
lution to commence the task. He went back for the 
piece of board which had served him to dig the grave of 
Voules, and commenced shovelling away the sand some 
distance above high-water mark. It would evidently 
require a large grave, and the task would occupy him 
some hours. The sun, which was intensely hot, beat 
down on his unprotected head, while the perspiration 
streamed from his forehead. At last he could work no 
more, and, supporting himself by the spade, followed by 
Neptune, he staggered to the nearest spot where he ob- 
served some shade beneath the cliff. As he threw himself 
on the ground, the dog lay down by his side with his 
tongue out, showing that he too felt the heat. 

Overcome with fatigue, he dropped into an uneasy doze, 
painful fancies filling his brain. How long he had thus 
remained he could not tell, when, on opening his eyes, 
they fell on a figure standing hy the half-finished grave. 
His disordered imagination made him fancy that it was 
one of those he was about to bury who, recovering, had 
regained his feet Or could it be a spirit ? 

His eyes dilated as he gazed. The person, after look- 
ing into the grave for a few seconds, turned round and 
went towards where the bodies lay and then knelt down 

Richard Hargrave appears, 245 

by the side of one of them. Lord Reginald, not seeing 
him, as he was concealed by the slope of the beach from 
where he lay, fancied as he gradually recovered his senses 
that he must have been subjected to some hallucination, 
and resolved to finish his task. 

"Come, Nep," he said, rising, '*we must finish the 
work, terrible as it is I " What was his surprise to find 
that his dog had gone ? He made his way back to the 
grave, keeping his head turned in an opposite direction 
from the bodies, unwilling to look at them from the 
sickening feeling which came over him when he did so. 
Descending into the pit he had formed, he began to 
throw out the sand. While thus employed he heard a 

voice close to him say — 
" Shall I help you ? " 

His first impulse was to spring out of the grave and 
express the joy he felt that one of his crew had escaped, 
but on looking up he saw Richard Hargrave standing 
near, with a piece of wood similar to the one with 
which he was employed At first his feelings softened 
towards his enemy, for so he regarded the young seaman, 
but the next instant he fancied that he detected a look ot 
scorn in his countenance. Still, he wanted to get the 
work done, and alone he could not accomplish it. He 
therefore answered, " Yes, you may fall to, for it is more 
than one man alone can do." 

Without exchanging another word, Dick leapt ^oy^-n 
into the pit and began shovelling out the sand in a far 
more effectual way than Lord Reginald had done. When 
the grave was of sufficient size, Dick got out and immedi- 
ately went towards one of the bodies, beckoning his com- 
panion to assist him in carrjdng it to its last resting-place. 

246 The Rival Cruso^s. 

Lord Reginald hesitated, but when Dick began to drag the 
body by the shoulders he took it up by the feet. One 
by one three of the other bodies were carried to the grave. 
Lord Reginald was about to lift up the feet of Ben Rudall, 
when Dick exclaimed — 

" No, no ; let him alone. We will give him a grave to 
himself. He was an old friend of mine, though he might 
have led me astray, and I want to pay him all the respect 

I can." 

Lord Reginald let the feet drop, and n^ithout speaking 
returned to the grave, where he began to shovel in the 
sand. Dick joining him, the task was soon accomplished. 

" As I undertook to dig this poor fellow's grave alone, 
I won't ask you to help me," said Dick, turning aside 
without attempting to exchange any further words with 
his companion. 

Lord Reginald, utterly exhausted, retreated to the shade 
of the cliff, calling in an angry tone to Neptune, who had 
followed Dick, to watch his proceedings. 

He observed that Hargrave wore a hat roughly made 
from palm leaves, and was thus able to endure the heat 
much better than he could. It did not occur to him 
that he possessed a handkerchief in his pocket which, had 
he bound round his head, would have afforded him some 
protection. At length he could endure the thirst from 
which he was suffering no longer, and getting up, en- 
deavoured to make his way to the spring at which he 
had before obtained water. He reached it at last, and 
sank down by the side of the pool, scarcely able to lift 
the water with his hand to his parched lips. He suc- 
ceeded, however, and felt somewhat restored. Nep 
showed how thirsty he was by lapping it up eagerly. 

A Vain Attempt to obtain Food, 247 

He waited some time, half expecting that Hargrave 
would join him. He was too proud to call him, and 
inquire how he had escaped from the wreck, which he 
wished to know, as well as to ascertain if any one else 
had been saved. Even Neptune appeared surprised, 
and showed an inclination to start off every now and 
then and join Dick, who had become a great friend of 
his on board. 

All this time Lord Reginald had eaten nothing except 
the remains oi the cocoanut. He was sensible that 
he was becoming fainter and weaker. Whether or not 

Nep had got any food when he disappeared, he could 
not tell, but from the way he observed Hargrave work 
he felt very sure that he, at all events, was not starving. 

He saw numerous birds of gay plumage flying among 
the trees, but he had no means of getting them. He 
thought that he might possibly knock some of them 
down. For this purpose he returned to the beach to 
pick up some pebbles. Having filled his pockets, he 
went back to the neighbourhood of the stream. Though 
he got frequently within reach of the birds, he could 
not manage to hit one of them. At last he had ex- 
hausted every one of his pebbles, and, prompted by 
hunger, was about to go back to obtain more, when he 
bethought him that by hiding behind a bush an un- 
wary bird might come near enough to enable him Xo 
knock it down with a stick which he had picked up. 

He waited for some time. Though several birds came 
near — one a fine fat pigeon with beautiful plumage 

they kept beyond his reach. At length, losing his patience, 
he threw his stick at a bird which had perched on a 
bough about twelve feet off. The bird rose, wagging its 

248 The Rival Crusoes. 

tail as if in derision, and flew oif unhurt. Nep, who was 
by this time as famished as his master, showed his eager- 
ness by dashing here and there after the birds, which 
flew near the ground. 

" It's of no use, Nep," said Lord Reginald ; " we 
must try what the sea-shore will yield." They returned 
together to the beach. The tide was low and shell-fish 
— some of large size — clung to the rocks or lay on the 

Supposing that the latter were dead or not fit to eat ; 

he attempted to cut off with his knife some of those 

clinging to the rocks, a more difficult task than he had 

expected, and he blunted it considerably in the attempt. 

At last he got several off, and with these, as well as a 

few of the freshest looking which he had picked up on 

the beach, he returned to the cave. 

He nearly cut his finger in attempting to open them, 
and when he had succeeded in separating the shells of a 
couple, he recollected that he must cook them before 
they would be fit to eat Pirst he had to collect fire- 
wood. For this purpose he was compelled to go back 
to where he could obtain some dry branches, broken oflf 
by previous gales. While thus engaged, he saw some 
smoke in the distance. 

" That must be a fire kindled by that fellow Hargrave," 
he said to himself; "he probably has found something 
to eat, but I cannot go and ask him for a light, still less 
can I bring myself to beg for some of the food. Pro- 
bably he would refuse me if I did. No, no, I will let 
him come to me and ask my pardon for his insolent 

By exerting himself; the young lord collected a bundle 

Meagre Fare, 249 

of sticks. On his way he found another cocoanut, which 
prize he was glad to obtain, for it would serve as bread 
to help him swallow the shell-fish. 

With his bundle on his shoulders he returned to the 
cave. He unscrewed the object glass from Voules's 
telescope, but in vain tried to obtain a light. The sticks 
might have burned had a flame once been established. 
He had, therefore, to go back and search for dry leaves 
or moss, or some more inflammable substance. 

He found some fungus, which from its dry nature he 
thought would quickly ignite. With this and his arms 
full oi leaves, he once more made his way back to his 
cave. The sun was by this time sinking low, and he 
was afraid after all that its rays would be too oblique 
to enable him to obtain a spark. He anxiously held the 
glass in its right position, and was thankful when he saw 
a fine line of smoke ascending ; by blowing gently and 
placing some dry leaves above it, he at length obtained 
a flame, with which he set the pile of leaves he had 
placed under the sticks on fire. 

" I am now as well oif as that fellow Hargrave," he 
said to himself, as he placed the shell-fish on the embers. 
He had never before attempted to cook aaything, and 
had very little notion of how it was to be done. 

He saw the shells getting hotter and hotter, when on 
raking them out he found the interior burnt to a cinder. 
" Rather overdone," he thought \ " I must not let them 

stay in again so longP He succeeded rather bettei 
with the next, but had to confess that they were veq 

Though his hunger was not satisfied, he had no in- 
clination to eat more; having broken the shells, he 

550 The Rival Crusoes, 

bestowed the remainder on Neptune, who apparently 
preferred them raw to cooked. He eked out his scanty 
meal with cocoanut, having drunk the juice, which he 
found very refreshing after the salt, coarse-ta sting clams. 
He had no longer any fear of starving, though the food 
he had obtained was neither wholesome nor palatable. 

After finishing his meal, he threw himself on the sand 
within the shadow of the cave, trying to reflect what he 
should next do, but his mind was in a state of confusion. 
He could not sufficiently collect his thoughts to arrive 

at any determination. Neptune lay by his side, oc- 
casionally licking his hand, trying to arouse him. He 
felt the solitude to which he was doomed trying in the 
extreme. The only human being on the island beside 
himself, was, as far as he could tell, young Hargrave, 

whom he had despised and hated, and who seemed in no 
way disposed to forget the mutual ill-feeling which had so 
long existed, or to show him any marks of attention. 
He looked out, half expecting to see his enemy approach, 
but the latter had evidently taken up his abode in the 
further part of the island, and kept out of his way. 

Another night was approaching; it was necessary to 
collect some more wood to keep in his fire, for should 
a cloudy day come on, he would have no means of re- 
lighting it. At last, seeing the necessity of exerting 
himself, he got up, intending to fill two of the largest 
clam shells he had picked up with water, which might 
serve to quench his thirst during the night Directly 
he rose to his feet, Neptune showed his satisfaction by 
leaping about him, and barked with joy when he found 
that he was directing his steps towards the fountain. On 
arriving at it, both he and the dog drank their fill, then 

Neptune disappears, 251 

placing the shells by its side, he set to work to collect 
fire-wood. There was no great amount of fallen sticks, 
and it took him some time before he could pick up a 
sufficient quantity. 

As formerly, he observed in the distance the smoke of 
a fire, which he felt sure had been kindled by Hargrave. 
The dog, by pulling his trousers, attempted to draw him 
in that direction. 

" No, no \ we will not go and interfere with the fellow. 
He'll fancy that we want his assistance, or are begging for 
some of the food he may have obtained. We must show 
him that we can do very well by ourselves," he said, 
addressing his dog. Fastening the sticks to his back by 
a piece of rope he had picked up, and taking the two clam 
shells in his hand, he set off to return to the cave. He 
had gone a short distance without thinking of Neptune, 
when on looking round he found that the dog had disap- 

"Where can the animal have gone to ? " he exclaimed. 
" Has he deserted me for the sake of that scoundrel ? If 
he has, when he comes back I'll tie him up and teach him 
that he must not associate with my enemy." 

On reaching the cave he sat down more oppressed 
even than before by gloomy thoughts. He believed that 
the Marie had been cast away on a remote island, near 
which no English ship was likely to pass, and that he 
might remain there for months, perhaps for years, without 
having an opportunity of escaping, even should he live so 
long ; but he felt so sick and weak that he feared his 
existence would soon be cut short 

"Perhaps," he thought, "that young Hargrave may 

take it into his head to murder me. What is th^rQ to 
■ 17 

252 The Rival Crusoes. 

prevent him ? All that he has to do is to bury me in the 
sand, with the rest of the poor fellows. And if questions 
are asked, he could say I was cast lifeless on the shore, or 
died afterwards* from sickness, and such, judging from my 
sensations, is very likely to be the case." 

The pangs of hunger aroused him. As there was suf- 
ficient daylight remaining, he went down to the rocks 
and cut off a few more shell-fish. The task was so hard 
a one that he did not collect more than he required. He 
had slightly improved in the art of cooking them, but he 
much wished that he had some pepper and salt to make 
them more palatable. They were nearly cooked, when he 
saw Neptune scampering along the beach towards him, 
with something in his mouth. The dog approaching 
laid it down at his feet, and Lord Reginald discovered 
that it was a beautiful pigeon. 

" Is that what you left me for ? " he exclaimed, highly 
delighted, patting the dog. " This will be far better than 
those dreadful clams which I could hardly swallow, and 
which when swallowed made me feel as if I had eaten 

Neptune wagged his tail, as much as to say, " I am ver}' 
glad, master, I have brought you something you like.'' The 
puzzle was now how to cook the bird. At first he thought 
of putting it in a clam shell to bake. He had actually 
placed it on the fire, feathers and all, when he remembered 
that it must be pluckqd. This he did in a somewhat 
awkward fashion. Then he recollected seeing pictures of 
camp fires, with animals spitted on sticks roasting before 
them. He selected such from the heap near him as 
would serve his purpose. Peeling one with his knife, he 
ran it through the bird, then placed it on two forked 

A Pigeon cooked, 253 

sticks, wluch he stuck in the ground. This done he 
raked the ashes of the fire beneath the bird close round 
it, and began turning his spit with his hand. It was hot 
work, and exercised all his patience. At last he saw that 
the bird was becoming browner and browner. He was 
satisfied that he was cooking \t in \hQ right fashion, 
Neptune lay down with his paws out, watching the pro- 
cess. Lord Reginald was too hungry to wait, and taking 

it off the spit he put it into a clam shell to serve as a dish, 
and began eagerly eating it. Though, from being just 
killed, and underdone, it was somewhat tough, it afforded 
him a far more satisfactory meal than any he had tasted 

since he had reached the island. He would have been 
wise had he reserved a portion for next morning's break- 
fast, but without consideration, after he had satisfied his 
hunger, he threw the remainder to Neptune, who gobbled 
it up in a few seconds. 

Being now perfectly dark, having made up kis fire he 
retired to his cave, where, with a piece oi wood which he 
had brought up from the shore for his pillow, he lay 
down to sleep with Neptune by hia side. He knew that 
his faithful dog would keep watch, and that he need have 
no fear of being attacked by any wild beasts which might 
exist in the island. It was some time before he could go 
to sleep, but at length, overcome by fatigue and mental 

anxiety, he dropped into an unquiet slumber. 

It appeared to him that he was dreaming or thinking 
the whole night through. Great was his surprise to find 
it broad daylight when he awoke. Instead of the hurri- 
cane which had lately blown, there was a perfect calm, 
though the smooth undulations broke in a line of foam 
along the beacli where it was not protected by rocks. His 

254 ^^^ Rival Crusoes, 

fire had gone out, but he had no difficulty in lighting it 
by means of his burning glass. His first care was to 
make it up. He then set off to collect some more shell- 

He had got do\vn to the shores of the little bay which 
has been before described, and was scrambling along the 
reef, when his eye fell on a figure apparently clinging to a 
cleft of the rock on the opposite side, just above high- 
water mark. The figure seemed to move. Taking out 
his small telescope he watched it eagerly, trying also to 
discover some means of getting to the spot. He at once 
saw by the dress that the figure was that of young Lucas. 
Was it possible that he was still alive ? He feared not. 
He lost no time in returning to the beach, and then 
made his way along the rocks until he descended to 
the point where he had seen his shipmate. A glance at 
the features told him that the midshipman was dead, and 
had probably been washed up by the sea into the cleft of 
the rock. How to remove the body was now the question. 
He could not let it remain there festering in the hot sun, and 
it seemed impossible for him to carry it over the rough 
rocks on his shoulders. At last he thought he might tow 
it to the shore. There were plenty of materials for form- 
ing a raft. He soon lashed a few pieces of wreck together, 
when, having launched them, he took off his clothes and 
towed them out Had it not been for the uniform he 
could not have distinguished his young shipmate. Extri- 
cating the body, not without difficulty, from the cleft of the 
rock in which it had been fixed, he lowered it down to 
the raft. Then taking the end of the tow-rope in hand, 
he began to swim towards the beach. The raft was 
h^avv, and so weak did he feel fhat he was afraid h^ 

Another Dead Shipmate. 255 

should be unable to reach the shore with his melancholy 


He was puffing and blowing away, and making but slow 
progress, when he saw Neptune — who had disappeared in 
the same mysterious way as he had done on the previous 
day — coming scampering along the beach. He called the 
dog, who with a bound plunged in and swam towards him. 
He placed the tow-rope in the mouth of the animal, 
who, seeming to know perfectly well what to do, swam 
with it towards the shore, allowing his master to rest his 
hand on his back. He thus, in a much shorter time than 
would otherwise have been possible, reached the beach. 
He felt so fatigued that he had to rest while the hot sun 
dried his body, before he could again put on his clothes. 

Neptune, who was now aware of the freight he had 
brought ashore, waited as if to see what more was required 
of him. Suddenly he seemed to recollect that he had 
another duty to perform, and running back to the spot 
from which he had leapt into the water, he took up a 
pigeon, which he brought to his master. 

" You are a wonderful dog," said Lord Reginald, patting 
his head. " How have you managed to catch this bird ?* 

He would gladly have got through the painful task he 
had set himself, but the pangs of hunger made him 
determine to cook the bird first Following the plan he 
had adopted on the previous evening, he soon had it 
plucked and spitted. As he opened the crop he was 
surprised to see three large nuts drop to the ground, 
which split as they fell ; it seemed wonderful that the 
pigeon could have swallowed them, large as they were. 
The kernels, which he put into the fire and roasted, were 
especially nice and served instead of bread. Neptune, 

256 The Rival Crusoes. 

as before, came in for the remainder of the bird. He ate 
it up, but not greedily, as if he was in want of food. "The 
rogue has been catering for himself, I suspect I hope 
that he may bring me something for dinner, for though a 
pigeon a day is something, sufficient to keep body and 
soul together, I shall require more to retain my strength." 
As he again rose a sensation of lassitude oppressed him. 
He felt very much disinclined for the painful task he had 
undertaken. It must be done, however, and rousing 
himself he seized the wooden spade he had before used, 
and set to work to dig a grave near that of Voules. He 
had not long been engaged in his task, when looking up 
he saw Richard Hargrave approaching. This at once 
made him suspect that he had been watched by his rival, 
although he had not discovered him. 

" I don't like to see you engaged in that sort of work : 
it is as much my duty as yours,'' said Dick. " So I have 
come to help you." 

" I shan't require your aid," answered Lord Reginald, 
haughtily ; " you can bury any of the men you may find, 
but I choose to bury this young officer myself." 

" Very well, do as you like," said Dick, indignant at 
having his well-meant offer refused. " I thought as we 
had both suffered a common misfortune, you would have 
been glad of the society and assistance of a fellow- 

"You don't suppose that any common misfortune 
would bring me down to your level ? " exclaimed Lord 
Reginald. "I don't require either your sympathy or 
your assistance ; all I desire is that you should keep out 
of my way, and remember that I am still your officer." 

" I remember that you were once my officer, and that 

The Burial of the Midshipman. 257 

as such you took every opportunity to show your ill- 
feelings towards me, or allowed others to do so. One of 
them lies there, and unless you exercise such sense as you 
have got, you'll soon take your place by his side. I 
speak plainly, but I speak the truth. Except the few 
shell-fish, and the couple of cocoanuts you have picked up, 
you have been unable to procure any food for yourself." 

"You are wrong there," said Lord Reginald; "my 
faithful dog has catered for me, and I have no doubt he 
will continue to do so ; but I do not choose to waste 
words on you. Be off, and look after your own afifairs." 

Dick laughed scornfully. " Do you suppose that the 
dog would have got those birds by himself? " he asked. 
"You give him credit for more cleverness than he 

" I have told you I do not desire to hold any conversa- 
tion with you," said Lord Reginald, not inquiring for an 
explanation of the last remark Dick had made, though it 
somewhat puzzled him. 

" You must take the consequences of your obstinacy, 
then I" exclaimed Dick, walking away with as haughty an 
air as Lord Reginald himself could have assumed. 

The poor young lord resumed his uncongenial occupa- 
tion, which Dick^s appearance had interrupted. The 
grave was dug, and the body of the midshipman dragged 
into it He lost no time in covering it up, as it was 
painful to look upon those features, once so full of life 
and animation. " Are we two, then, the only survivors 
from the Marie V^ exclaimed Lord Reginald. "I wish 
that some one else had been saved, though I now know 
for certain that the only ones with whom I could have 
associated are dead 1" 

258 The Rival Crusoss, 

Instead of setting to work to try and improve his con- 
dition, oppressed with lassitude, he lay for the remainder 
of the day in front of his cave, doing nothing. 

Neptune remained by him for some time, then ap- 
parently getting weary of inaction, after playing about on 
the sand, scampered off into the interior. 

" I hope that he has gone to get me another pigeon, or 
something else,*' said Lord Reginald, when he found that 
the dog had disappeared. *' Sagacious brute, he knows 
my wants, and is sure to bring me something." 

Hour after hour, however, passed by, and he began to 
get very hungry. The dog did not return, and evening 
was approaching. He at last got up, and set off for the 
spring, to obtain a draught of water, and hoping to find at 
all events another cocoanut in the palm grove, where he 
had procured the others. Having drunk as much water 
as he required, he searched about Though numbers of 
cocoanuts grew on the trees above his head, he could 
not find one fallen to the ground. There were a few 
husks, which had been broken open and their contents 
abstracted. He looked about, expecting to see his dog. 
Neptune did not make his appearance. All he could do 
therefore, was to collect some more sticks to keep up his 
fire, after which he obtained some clams from the sea- 
shore, off which, though imperfectly cooked, he was fain 
to make his supper. He had just finished when he saw 
Neptune coming towards him, not scampering along as 
usual, but advancing slowly, with his tail between his legs. 
Lord Reginald looked out eagerly for the pigeon, but 
Neptune's mouth had nothing in it 

" What, my good dog, have you been unsuccessful in 
your hunting ? " he said. " It is a bad look-out for me, as 

Illness coming on. 259 

I shall have nothing but these clams. However, you 
shall share them with me." 

When, however, he offered the shell-fish to the dog, 
he refused to eat them, and, looking ashamed of himself, 
crouched down by his side. 

Another night passed away. When the young lord 
tried to get up in the morning, his limbs ached, and he 
found himself much weaker than before. He became 
somewhat alarmed. " If this goes on I don't know how 
it will end," he said to himself. " It is evident that the 
clams do not agree with me \ however, as I have nothing 
else, I must eat some for breakfast." 

In spite of the pain he was suffering, he crawled down 

to the beach, and collected as many as he thought he and 
his dog would require. Bringing them back, and making 

up his fire, he tried to cook them with more care than 
before. But they tasted like so many pieces of salted 
leather, and he could witli difficulty swallow them. 
Neptune ate. a i^vf ; they were evidently not much to his 
taste. He soon showed signs of a wish to get away from 
his master. Twice he started off, but Lord Reginald 
called him back. 

" Come, old dog, we will go and hunt together, and I 
hope that we shall be more successful than before," he 
said, at length getting up, and taking a stick to support 
himself. Sick as he was, he thought a bath would 
refresh him. He accordingly went down to the bay, and 
taking off his clothes waded in. The cool water had tlie 
effect he expected. He thought he might venture to swim 
out to a little distance. The dog followed him, keeping 
close to his side. He had not got far when Neptune 
uttered a bark, very different in tone to that which he 

26o The Rival Crtisoes. 

usually emitted. It appeared to be indicative of alarm, 
and Lord Reginald, looking ahead, saw a black fin rising 
above the water. He immediately turned, and swam 
with all his might back to the beach, expecting every 
instant to feel his leg seized by a shark, for he knew too 
well that the black fm belonged to one of the monsters of 
the deep. Nep continued close to him, though he migiit 
have got ahead, but the moment he touched the beach he 
scampered up it, and then turned round and barked 
furiously, leaping and splashing about in the shallow 
water. Lord Reginald also, as soon as his feet touched 
the sand, waded out as fast as his strength would allow, 
and did not stop until he reached dry ground. Scarcely 
had he landed, than a pair of huge jaws appeared above 
the surface, making directly for the dog. But Neptune 
was too active to be caught, though he had a narrow escape. 
Lord Reginald, exhausted by the exertions he had made, 
sank on the sand. Some minutes passed before he could 
manage to put on his clothes. It was a warning to him 
not to bathe in future in the bay. 

As soon as he had somewhat recovered, again taking 
his stick in hand he set off, as he had before intended, 
for the fountain. He felt much refreshed, after taking 
a draught of pure water and washing his face and 
head in it, and was sufficiently strong, he thought, to 
make an exploring expedition through the island, to as- 
certain its size, and whether he could obtain more food 
than the sea-shore afforded. Finding an accessible hil? 
he toiled up it From the summit, he obtained a 
view over the larger portion of the island. It was 
generally volcanic and barren. The hill on which he 
stood formed the side of a volcano, but whether active or 

The Island explored, 261 

not, he could not determine. It was destitute of vegeta- 
tion, and was covered with black lava, which, from being 
hard and smooth, he supposed had long been exposed to 
the atmosphere. There were, however, level spots, in 
which grew a number of tropical trees, and he could see 
far off, a broad valley, through which a stream meandered. 
He looked round for signs oi inhabitants, but could dis. 
cover no huts or buildings of any sort, or traces of 
cultivation. In the far distance, round a point which ran 
out to the southward, beyond the spot where the Marie 
had been wrecked, he saw a wreath of smoke ascending 
through the pure air. This, he had no doubt, rose from 
Richard Hargrave's fire. Descending the hill, he made 
his way along a valley, which was of far greater extent 
than the one he had just discovered near his cave. He 
was struck with the number of birds — some of beautiful 
plumage, and others resembling barn door fowls, which 
were running about among the trees, picking up seeds and 
fruits fallen from the lofty boughs. He caught sight of 

some small deer, but the moment they saw him, they 
scampered off as fleet as the wind. Further off he came 
upon a small herd oi queer-looking pigs. They took to 
flight, and although Neptune made chase, they quickly 
distanced him. Presently he heard a chattering above 
his head, and looking up he saw a. number of very small 
monkeys, grinning out at him from among the boughs. 
Impulsively he threw his stick at one of the nearest, but 
the monkey saw it coming, and quickly getting out of the 
way, clambered with its companions to the higher boughs, 
where a bullet alone could have reached it 

"There's game enough here to support a ship's com- 
pany," he thought ; " but they only appear to tantalize 

262 The Rival Crusoes. 

me, and I may be doomed to starve in the midst of 
abundance." Among the birds were numerous white 
cockatoos which flew over his head, but as he approached 
took good care to keep out of his way, while green 
pigeons, similar to those Neptune had brought him, 
were in great numbers, and evidently less timid. Some 
flew close to him, or remained perched on the boughs, but 
though he threw his stick at several, he failed to bring one 

" I wonder that this island, like others in the neigh- 
bourhood, is not inhabited." The thought then occurred 
to him that the volcano had either driven the natives 
away, or prevented them from occupying it, although the 
fertility of the valley through which he was walking 
showed that it was capable of supporting a tolerably 
numerous population. 

He went on and on, interested in the objects he saw, 
and almost forgetting his fatigue, being able occasionally 
to quench his thirst at the stream along the banks of 
which he made his way. He cast a longing eye at 
several fruits hanging from the boughs of trees of the 
palm species, but they were all beyond his reach, and no 
way occurred to him of getting at them. The chief in- 
convenience he suffered was from the want of a hat, as 
the sun beat down with intense force on his head, but 
although he had seen Richard Hargrave wearing one, it 
did not occur to him that he might manufacture a similar 
protection. He at length remembered his white hand- 
kerchief, which he tied round his head, placing several 
layers of leaves beneath it, to add to its thickness. This 
somewhat relieved him, but did not shelter his eyes and 
face. At last he reached a hill of slight elevation^ to 

An Angry Meeting. 263 

the top of which he climbed. It overlooked a small 

picturesque bay. On the nearest point was a large mass 
of wreck, apparently the bows of the ship, which, when 

she parted, had been driven there by the current and the 

fury of the hurricane. 

On one side, though at no great distance from the 
shore, was a neat hut, at which a person was working, 
whom he felt sure was Richard Hargrave. Neptune, on 
seeing him, bounded oii without asking his master's leave, 
and Lord Reginald, to his intense disgust, saw the dog^ 
rush up and lick the hand of his rival, who patted him, 
then going into the hut, quickly came out with some 
pieces of meat, which he gave to the dog. 

The sight exasperated the young lord, so that, not con- 
sidering the folly of what he was about, hurrying down 
the hill, he made his way towards Dick. 

The latter, who had mounted a ladder to continue his 
work, turning his head, saw him coming, and descended 
to meet him. 

" You scoundrel ! " exclaimed the young lord, his 
features distorted with anger. "You are trying to entice 
my d.og from me by giving him food, which you might at 
all events have had the grace to offer to me, your officer.*' 

" I have no wish to entice your dog from you ] " 
answered Dick ; " and I would advise you to calm your 
anger, and listen to reason. I sent you two pigeons I 

trapped, by your dog, first giving him a hearty meal, that 
he might not eat them on the way, and from your own 
lips I know that you received them, though you had not 
the grace to thank me, and declared that you could do 
very well without my assistance ; so I left you to look 

after yourself, though I hadn't the heart to refuse to feed 

264 The Rival Crtisoes, 

your dog, when I knew you v/ould have nothing to give 

''That's false !" exclaimed Lord Reginald. "I know 
full well that your object was to deprive me of my dog, 
for the faithful animal — though his instinct induces him 
to take the food — managed to break away from you, and 
to return to me, and had you really wished to assist me 
you might have sent some more of those pigeons, or any 
other provisions you have obtained." 

"It's of no use arguing with an angry man,'* retorted 
Dick. " You accuse me of uttering falsehoods. Again 
I assure you that I have spoken but the simple trutli, 
and say that, as you have obstinately refused my assist- 
ance, you must take the consequences." 

" Impertinent scoundrel ! " cried Lord Reginald. 

" You dare to speak to me thus ! I desire you not again 
to feed my dog, or to let him remain if he comes to you. 
He and I must forage for ourselves, and there's game 
enough in the island, so I sliall be able to catch as much 
as I require for myself and him." 

" As you please," said Dick, turning aside, and whist- 
ling as he went on with his work, which the arrival of 
Lord Reginald had interrupted. 

The young lord, calling Neptune, who seemed very 
unwilling to leave, walked off, foaming with anger, and 
muttering, " I must put a stop to this, or it is impossible 
to say what he will next do ! " As he reached the top of 
the hill, he could not refrain from turning round, to watch 
the proceedings of his rival. 

Dick had built a good-sized hut under the shade of a 
grove of trees, and had dug up the ground in an open 
space near itj to form a garden, which he had begun to 

A Vain Attempt to kill Game, 265 

rail in. " The fellow seems determined to make himself 
at home, as if he expected to live here for years to come. 
A low-born fellow has mechanical talents such as I don't 
possess; they certainly give him an advantage over me, 
under the circumstances in which we are placed, but I 
must see what I can do for myself. My cave has only 
hitherto afforded me shelter, but should the wind blow 
s\xong and directly into it, I should not find it a comfort- 
able abode. I must try and build a hut for myself. I 

don't see why I shouldn't, though it might not be so well 
finished as his. But there's wreck enough on the shore 

for the purpose, though I shall be puzzled how to get it 
up. Then about providing myself with food, I'll make a 
bow and arrows ; I shall then be able to shoot some birds, 
or perhaps a deer, and occasionally a pig. Anything 

would be better than being beholden to that fellow. It 

Is important that I should show how independent I am 
of him." 

Such thoughts occupied the young lord's mind as he 
continued his walk along the valley, Neptune every now 
and then giving chase to a deer or a hog, but the animals 
scampered off, soon leaving him far behind, and on each 
occasion he came slinking back to his master, greatly 
disconcerted at his want of success. 

" I see, poor fellow, you are not more likely to catch 
one of those creatures than I am," he said. " We must 
try what we can do in some other way. We need not 
starve in the midst of abundance, that's very certain." 
He looked about carefully on every side for a young sap- 
ling or a tree of some flexible character of which he might 

form a bow, but he was too ignorant of their nature to 
know which to select. 

266 The Rival Crusoes. 

" I must try them first, perhaps I shall hit upon one 
which will answer my purpose." 

At last he came to a small straight stem. " This will 
do, at all events," he thought, and he set to work with his 
knife to cut it down. As the knife was blunt, he made 
but slow progress. Even when it was down, he would 
have to pare off the lower part, so as to make it of the 

same size as the upper. At length by cutting round and 
round, he made a notch of sufficient depth to enable him 
to break off the stem. Shouldering his prize, he walked 
on to the cave, which he thought would be cooler than 
any other spot. 

Poor Nep followed him, wondering v.-hat was going to 
happen. On measuring the sapling he found that he 
might have cut it much higher up and saved himself a 
great deal of trouble. The bow, were he to use it of its 
present length, would be much too long. He had there- 
fore to remedy this by cutting oiT tAvo feet at the bottom 
end. He then peeled it and began shaping the stick by 
paring off the thicker end. He had shaped it very much 
to his satisfaction, before it occurred to him to try and 
bend the bow. What was his annoyance to find, on 
making the attempt, that bend it would not. It would 
have formed a very good lance, had he retained the full 
length, but it was useless for a bow. Again and again he 
tried to bend it. Using all his force, he felt it yield in 
his hand, and presently it snapped across. He threw it 
to the ground with an exclamation of disgust, and for a 
few minutes felt utterly dispirited. 

" I ought to have tried it first to ascertain whether it 
was of the nature of the yew. Surely savages in this 
region use bows. There must be wood suited for th$ 

Attempts to make a Bozo, 267 

purpose, so that if I can find it, I ought to be able to 
make as good a bow as they can." 

While occupied he had not felt hungry, but as he began 
to move about, he was reminded by his sensations that 
he must find something to eat. He felt a dislike to 
making another meal off the shell-fish, but he knew that 
unless he should be successful in catching some bird or 
animal he would be compelled to do so. Neptune also 
showed that he was conscious of the necessity of providing 
for the inner man. The moment he saw his master get 
up, he bounded forward, leaping and frisking about to 
encourage him to proceed. 

Poor Lord Reginald, as he walked on after the dog, 
felt downcast and faint. By going to Richard Hargrave 
and apologizing for his conduct, he might have obtained 
all he required, but he would rather starve than do that. 

As he reached the valley he saw a large number of 
white cockatoos and green pigeons flying about, and pre- 
paring to roost for the night. 

" If I can manage to steal on some of those fellows at 
night, I might catch a few; that, perhaps, is the way Har- 
grave gets them." 

But that was a long time to wait with the possibility of 
not succeeding, and so Neptune thought, for he went 
ranging far and wide, evidently looking for food. 

Going to the fountain, Lord Reginald took a draught 
of cold water, hoping that it might stay his hunger. 
Though it somewhat refreshed him, he soon became 
more eager than ever for food, and sat down on the 
bank to consider how he could possibly obtain it In 
vain he had thrown sticks and stones at birds. Perhaps 
be might form some traps, as he knew that such means 

268 The Rival Crusoes, 

were used for catching birds, but how to construct them 
was the puzzle. He turned the matter over and over 
again in his mind, and discovered that he had no 
inventive genius. * * I shall have to go back to the shell- 
fish, after all," he said, with a sigh \ " but I must get a 
stick for a bow. I "will try two or three, out of which one 
surely will answer the purpose." 

Weak as he was, he again got up, and searching about 
for the sort of wood he wanted, he fixed on a couple of 
saplings and the branch of a tree. He intended to make 
the string by untwisting some of the rope from the wreck, 
while there were plenty of reeds by the side of the stream 
which he thought would serve as arrows, though how to 
form heads he had not yet decided. He hoped that by 
working away by the light of his fire, he might get a bow 

finished before the morning. 

■ He intended to test the sticks before bestowing labour 
on any of them, but in the mean time it was absolutely 
necessary to get some food, for he felt so weak that he 
could scarcely drag himself back to his cave. Nep 
was certainly of the same opinion in regard to the 
necessity of finding provisions, as he continued hunting 
round and round in all directions, occasionally stopping 
and barking eagerly at a monkey, which looked down at 
him from a high branch, or at an opossum, to one of 
which he gave chase, but the creature got up a tree before 
he could reach it, and from its hollow kept looking at the 
strange animal which had invaded its native domains. 
At last Lord Reginald saw Nep run to the top of a 
mound, which he observed in an open space in the wood. 
It appeared to be composed of sticks, dead leaves, stones, 
rotten wood, earth, and mbbish of all sorts. The mound 

Discovery of Eggs, 269 

was between live and six feet high, and fully twelve feet 

across. He thought it must be the grave of some of the 
aborigines who had once inhabited the island, but the 
dog was evidently of opinion that it contained something 
worth looking after, as he began scratching away with 
might and main, in so eager a manner, that Lord Reginald 
was induced to go up and ascertain what he was about. 

Nep had already dug a deep hole, and on looking 
into it, his master saw, to his surprise and satisfaction, a 
number of eggs as large as those of a swan, of a red brick 
colour. Stooping down, he eagerly picked up one of 
them, which he broke and found that it was perfectly 
sweet Here was a storehouse, which would supply him 
with an abundance of excellent food. 

Having collected as many eggs as he could carry in 
his handkerchief, calling Nep, who seemed in no way 
disposed to leave the treasure, he set off for his cave. 
Making up his fire, he put three of his eggs under the 
ashes to cook, the only way he could think of to dress 
them, while he ate a portion of the one he had broken, 
which, though raw, was palatable, and contributed to allay 
the pangs of hunger. The remainder he gave to Nep, who 
eagerly gobbled it up, showing how hungry he had become. 

That the eggs were laid by birds, he had no doubt, 
though of what species they were he was unable to deter- 
mine. He resolved, however, to return next morning, 
and to wait near the spot, supposing that they must be 
large birds, and that he should be able to kill one, which 
would afford him ample food for a day or two. " I shall 
then be as well off as that fellow Hargrave," he thought 
to himself, '* and I at ail events shall be independent of 

270 The Rival Crusoes. 

Having finished his supper, he commenced making a 

bow. One only of tlie sticks appeared suitable for the 
purpose. On bending it, back it sprang with consider- 
able force. While still working away by the light of his 
waning fire, sleep so completely overpowered him, that 
he let fall his knife, and the stick of his bow by his side, 
while his head bent down over his breast. When he 

awoke, his fire was almost out, and as he could see to 
work no more, he crept back into his cave, where he lay 

down to sleep, with Nep, as usual, by his side. 


A trying time— The fatal crash — B«n Rudall's last eRbrt — Amonj^ 
the breakers — Thrown on shore — The first shelter — The car- 
penter's chest — Setting traps — A very satisfactory meal — Visit of 
Nep — A present for Lord Reginald — Dick building his hut — ■ 
Meeting of the rival Cnisoes — Supplies stopped — Collecting 
stores — Boat-building — Useful employment of time — Construct- 
ing a cot — The megapodes — A crossbow. 

E must now go back to the night of the shipwreck. 
Dick, with Ben Rudall and several other men, 
had been stationed forward, and remained at 
their posts when land was first seen under the lee. 

"There'll be a watery grave for most of us," said Ben 
when the cry arose of " Land, land ! " often so cheering to 
seamen, but on the present occasion of such dreadful 

" We must have a struggle for our lives, at all events," 
said Dick. " Better than going down in mid-ocean, with- 
out a plank to cling to." 

" You don't know what a surf like that breaking on a 
lee-shore under your lee can do ! " observed an old salt, 
who stood holding on to the bulwarks with one hand, 
while he searched for a quid of tobacco with the other. 

272 The Rival Crusoes. 

" They would grind up a stout ship like this in a few 
minutes if she strikes. It can't be helped ; I'll take one 
chaw, though it may be my last, and I only wish that I 
could get a glass or two of grog. It would make one feel 

more comfortable like." 

"We can do without grog, surely," said Dick. "It 
strikes me that we ought to try and keep our senses wide 
awake, so that we can judge of what's best to be done. 
I for one shall struggle to the last, and hope to reach the 
beach in spite of the surf, either on a spar or a piece of 

" We am't wrecked yet; maybe we shall be able to run 
into some cove or other where we can bring up," 

" Not unless we had a pilot on board who knows the 

coast. From what I hear, none of the officers have ever 

been in these seas before, and we have little chance of 
dropping anchor in a safe harbour." 

The gale came down with increased fury. 

" Hold on, lads, for your lives ! " cried Ben, who had 
cast one anxious look to leeward. " Keep clear of the 
falling masts, for before a minute is over we shall be on 

shore ! " 

Scarcely had he spoken than there came a fearful crash. 
The masts went by the board. The sea, with thundering 
roars, broke over the doomed ship. Crash succeeded crash. 
The shrieks of those carried away could be heard every 
moment. Dick kept to his resolution of clinging tightly 
to a stanchion. Presently came the final crash, when the 
Marie parted amidships, and those forward found them- 
selves separated from their companions. The sea twisted 
the bow round and floated it away, but it still held together. 

" We shall be carried off from the land ! " cried Ben 

Dick washed from the Wreck. 27^ 

Rudall. " We had better try to get hold of some spars 
and float ashore." 

"I thought you advised us to cling to the ship as long 
as she held together," observed Dick. 

"But she's not holding together," answered Ben. ''To 
my mind, shell either go down in deep water, or go to 
pieces when we are too far off to reach the shore." 

Still Dick had made up his mind to stick to the ship. 

"Well, mates, who's for the shore?" cried Ben, 

" Only those who are tired of life ! " said the old sea- 
man; "the wise ones will stick to the wreck. The 
chances are that will be cast on the beach, where we shall 
have a better chance of landing." 

Ben, however, still adhered to the belief that they 
would have a better prospect of saving their lives by 
clinging to some of the floating mass than by holding on 
to the forecastle, over which the sea was continually 

Several, while doubting what to do, were swept from 
their hold, and had no choice given them. Ben, with 
three others, got hold of some pieces of timber. 

" If you escape and I get drowned, give my love to 
poor Susan and the children. Say that my last thoughts 
were about them," cried Ben, as he threw himself after his 

Dick and the old seaman alone remained. The mass 
of wreck was tossed wildly about for some minutes, being 
swept by a current parallel to the shore, until at length, 
lifted by a sea, it drove on a reef, when the next sea roll- 


ing up, carried its two occupants overboard, together with 
several fragments of the bulwarks -which it had torn off". 
Striking out for his life, Dick succeeded in getting hold 

2 74 ^'^ Rival Crusoes. 

of a piece of timber. As he did so he heard a cry, and 
glancing in the direction from whence it came, he dimly 
saw his late companion through the gloom, lift up his 
arms and sink amidst the foaming waters. Dick held 


fast to the timber. Although not a bad swimmer, he 
knew that he should have but little chance of keeping 
afloat in that boiling cauldron. The seas washed him on 
nearer and nearer the shore, when just as he felt his 
strength failing him, he found that the timber had 
grounded; so letting it go he scrambled up before the 
next wave overtook him, and reached the dry sand, on 
which he threw himself, well-nigh exhausted by his exer- 
tions. Soon recovering, he looked out, in the hopes that 
some of his shipmates might be thrown up on the -same 
beach, but though he for long watched anxiously, running 

up and down along the whole circuit of the bay, he saw 
no one, and came to the melancholy conclusion that all 
on board excepting himself had been lost. 

Numerous articles, besides masses of wreck, were, how- 
ever, cast on shore, and those which appeared the most 
valuable he made every exertion to secure. Among 
them was a large chest, which he hoped by its weight to 
have belonged to the carpenter. Though unable to haul 
it up beyond where the water had floated it, having found 
a rope he made it fast to the handle, and carried the other 
end to the trunk of a tree. In vain he looked out during 
the time, in the hope of seeing any of his shipmates com- 
ing on shore ; he feared all had been drowned or washed 
away. At length he made out amid the foam two bodies 
floating at no great distance from the shore. They both 
appeared lashed to pieces of timber. They might still 
be alive. 

Diclcs First Night on Shore. 275 

He dashed into the water, just as the sea sent one of 
the pieces of wreck close to him, when seizing it he 
dragged it up, and instantly casting off the lashings, car- 
ried the man up to the dry beach. He then dashed 
forward again, and succeeded in getting hold of the spar 
to which the second man was lashed. It cost him much 
labour, and he was very nearly carried out himself, but 
by exerting all his strength he succeeded at length in 
getting the spar also up to the beach. 

Cutting the man loose, he carried the body up and 
placed it beside that of his companion. He then set to 
work to try and restore the men to life, rubbing their 
hands and chests, but all his efforts were in vain. As far 
as he could tell, they were the only people who had 
reached the beach. He thought of poor Ben. He still 
had some hopes that he might have been washed on 
shore, but although he called his name several times, no 
answer was returned. 

Finding that all his efforts were vain, he then got up, 
wishing to procure some shelter for himself during the 
inclement night. Observing the mizzen rigging with a 
piece of sail entangled among it, he cut the canvas loose, 
and contrived with a couple of bales and some pieces of 
board, to rig up a rough hut. 

The storm abated and the moon shone out for a short 
time, enabling him to complete his work. Scarcely was 
it finished than down came the rain, and he was glad to 
crawl in and obtain rest. He slept on until morning. 
Immediately on getting up he went down to the beach on 
the chance of finding any of his companions, but no one 
was visible, either alive or dead. There were, however, a 
number of articles and masses of ^vreck floating or cast 

276 The Rival Crusoes. 

on shore, while the bows of the ship still hung together 
at the end of the reef. Hunger reminded him that he 
must look out for food. The trees and shrubs he saw 
growing inland gave him hopes of finding provision for 
his wants. 

His first care was to form a covering for his head, as 
he had already found the heat of the sun excessive, and 
he had lost his hat during his swim ashore. He had 
often seen the seamen on board form straw hats. He at 
once looked out for such leaves as would serve the pur- 
pose of straw, and soon finding some, he sat down under 
a tree and diligently set to work. The fibre of the leaf 
served as thread, the thick stem as a needle. Certainly 
the hat was not over well shaped, but it answered the pur- 
pose of protecting his head and neck from the burning 

rays of the sun. 

His next idea was to obtain such food as the sea avouM 

afford. Without difficulty he collected as many shell-fish 
as he required from the reef, and was returning with them 
when he saw a cask, which from its appearance he hoped 
contained biscuits. He at once rolled it up to his hut, 
then set about collecting wood for a fire. 

He easily found a supply of dry sticks which, with some 
pieces of wreck, were amply sufficient for his wants. As 
he was collecting the sticks he was delighted to see the 

number of birds as well as animals inhabiting the island. 

" If I can catch you fellows, I shall have no want of 
food," he observed. " I must set my wits to work, and 
make some traps." 

A couple of large clam shells which he had found on 
the beach, served to carry water. He had in his pocket 
a flint and steel, with which he soon managed to produce 

Articles saved from the Wreck. 277 

a blaze. While the shell-fish were cooking, he opened 
the cask, which he found contained flour. Though the 
outside was wet, by digging down to a little depth, he 
found the interior perfectly dry. A clam shell served 
him as a kneading-dish, and he quickly made sorae dough 
cakes, which he baked in the embers. He was thus able 
to enjoy a very satisfactory breakfast, although he had 
cold water alone as a beverage. There were a number of 
other casks and cases, and he hoped to find among them 
some more flour, and perhaps some tea or coifee, and salt 
beef -or pork 

The first thing to be done was to secure all the articles 
which cam& on the beach, before another tide should float 
them off. He at once set about this. It was somewhat 
hard work, for many of the cases were heavy, and he could 

with difficulty drag them over the soft sand. Having 
drawn up all he could see floating on the shotes of the 
bay, he bethought him that by going further to the south, 
he might find others in the bay off which the ship struck. 

He accordingly set out, and climbing over the interven- 
ing rocks, what was his surprise on looking down to see 
a person at work, whom he recognized as Lord Reginald. 
He at once guessed how he was employed. 

" It isn't fair to let him do that work all alone, though 
I'd rather have kept clear of him, and very likely he'll not 
take in good part whatever offer I make," he said to him- 

He approached, and was received as he expected The 
interview has already been described. Dick felt a sincere 
grief when he found Ben Rudall's body among the 
drowned ; it was not likely that any others had escaped. 
The headland wliich extended away to the westward, 

278 The Rival CrusoeS. 

would prevent any persons landing on that side, and he 
felt sure that Lord Reginald and he were the only people 
who had escaped from the wreck. 

The treatment he received made him resolve not to 
trouble Lord Reginald in future with his company. 
" He'll come to his senses by-and-by, and find out that 
he and I are pretty much on an equality, or rather that I 
have the advantage of him, as I shall be able to get on 
much better than he does," thought Dick. 

From the first, he saw the necessity of providing for 
his daily wants. He must look out for food, and erect 
some shelter for himself. The hut in which he had spent 
the first night was hot and close, and though it might 
serve him until he could get a better habitation erected, 
he was anxious to build a more substantial place to live 

in. He was desirous, also, without delay, to examine the 
large chest 

It would have been a difficult task to get it beyond the 
reach of the sea, even should Lord Reginald have con- 

d(?scended to help him. He considered, therefore, how he 
could best do it alone. There were several broken spars 
about These he collected, and managed, by ^"^g^ng 
away the sand, to place them so as to serve as rollers 
beneath the chest. He then picked up several blocks, 
with which he formed a tackle, and secured it to the 
stump of a tree. By hauling away with all his might, he 
found that he could move the chest, and by shifting the 
rollers by degrees he hauled it up beyond high-water 
mark. The next difficulty to be overcome was to get it 
open. He had no tools to work with, and without tools 
it would baffle the strength of fifty men. Looking about, 
however, he discovered a large flat stone which might, he 

Bird Traps formed. 279 

hoped, serve as a wedge ; after a further search he picked 
up another heavy round stone, and armed with these he 
began to work away at the lock. It resisted for some 
time, but by hammering away with might and main the 
lock yielded, and the interior, full of carpenter's tools and 

numerous other articles, was revealed to his sight. He 
had now the means of building a comfortable house. He 
had been taught to handle tools by a carpenter in his 
younger days, and he had also — which was of great 
importance — often formed traps for the purpose of catch- 
ing birds and animals, so that he might thus supply him- 
self with food. He saw a number of green pigeons, which 
appeared very tame, and lots of cockatoos, though they 
looked too wise to be trapped. 

Selecting such of the tools as he thought he should 

require, he collected a quantity of wood, and took them 
up to the shade of the nearest tree, where he could work 
in tolerable comfort. In a short time he had formed three 
traps, similar to those made by boys in England to catch 
sparrows, but of much larger dimensions. 

Having picked up a quantity of seed fallen from the 
trees, for bait, he set them in different places apart, 
where from a distance he could command a sight of them. 
He watched eagerly, and soon had the satisfaction of se© 
ing one go down, and directly afterwards the other twa 
He ran up to secure his prizes. Each had caught a 
pigeon, and wringing their necks he reset the traps, and 
returned to his tree. Some dry fungus served him for 
tinder. Having his flint and steel, he struck a spark and 
soon, had a fire blazing. He plucked one of the pigeons 
and set it on to roast, considering that it would be 

sufficient for one meaL and intending to keep the other 

28o The Rival Crusoe s, 

tw^o. He then made some dough cakes, which he cooked 
as before, on a large stone surrounded by ashes. He 
had begun his meal when he saw Nep ranging in the 
distance. He called the dog to him, and observing his 
hungry look, gave him the remainder of the pigeon and 
some dough cake. The dog, having eaten what was 
bestowed upon him, looked still anxious. 

" I see what it is ; you are thinking of your master, old 
fellow. Now you take back that bird. He is probably 
very hungry, and you may tell him I sent it, if you like. 
I don't suppose he will refuse to eat it, even if he knows 
where it comes from. Now mind, Nep, don't you stop 
on the way and bolt it down, or I shall be obliged to give 

you a thrashing when you come back.*' 

Nep seemed fully to understand what be was to do. 
Taking the bird up with as much care as if it were alive, 
he set off in the direction of the cave. 

"He'll do it," said Dick, well satisfied with himself. 
" I couldn't bear to have him starve, while I am enjoying 
an ample meal. The chances are that he hasn't got 
the sense to obtain anything for himself, Nep might be 
able to catch some animals for him, but he won't succeed 
in getting hold of a bird." 

Dick felt much more satisfied with himself after this. 
He now began to consider how he could make himself 
comfortable. While setting his traps he had observed 
several trees which bore fruit, and he therefore felt con- 
vinced he should be able to obtain as much food as he 
required, besides any fish he might catch. On searching 
the carpenter's chest, he found a number of hooks of all 
sizes, together with some fine line, so that he might go out 
fishing as soon as he had time. Several of the bales 

Dick begins to bttild a Hut. 281 

consisted of cotton or linen cloth, and another prize was 
a box belonging to one of the officers, which contained 
clothes, shoes, some nautical instruments, a spyglass, and 
several books, which, although they were in French, were 
better than none at all, as he might by their means teach 

himself that language. 

Having collected all the wood which had drifted 
ashore from the wreck, he dragged it up by means of his 
tackle, and he had soon enough to build a small hut. He 
lost no time in making a commencement. The tropical 
rains, he thought, might soon begin, and it was important 
to get under shelter before then. He settled to build his 
hut in such a way that he might increase its size as he 
could procure more materials. At present his plan was 
to build the frame of drift wood, and then to cover it over 

with planks, for which he might cut down trees and saw 

them up into boards. 

For some time, however, his progress was slow, as he 

was compelled to look out for provisions. For this 
purpose he had to form several more traps, as sometimes 

whole days passed without those he had at first set catch- 
ing a bird. Neptune paid him another visit, and he sent 
a second pigeon by the dog to Lord Reginald. Re- 
membering that several articles had been thrown up on 
the beach of the smaller bay on which Lord Reginald had 
been cast, he thought that he would ascertain if there 
were any things worth having among them. He set oif, 
therefore, armed with a stick for this purpose. He was 
going along the beach, eagerly looking out for whatever 
he could draw on shore, when he saw Lord Reginald 
engaged in burying the midshipman. 

The coldness with which his overtures were received 

282 The Rival Cmsoes. 

made him determine to leave Lord Reginald to his own 

" He*ll soon find out how well he can get on alone," 
he said to himself, and turning on his heel he went back 
to his hut. " If the foolish fellow chooses to starve, there's 
no reason why the poor dog should. If he comes, I'll do 
my best to feed him, at all events." 

Dick had now plenty of work before him. His spirits 
rose as he laboured away, and he made good progress 
with his hut. It was almost fit for occupation. As long 
as he could procure nourishing food without difficulty, he 
devoted himself without interruption to the work. Nep- 
tune paid his visits as before, and Dick fed him well, but 
would give him no food to carry to his master. 

" No, no," he said ; " he boasts that he can feed him- 
self, let him do so. If he starve, that's not my look-out, 
but you, poor brute, deserve being cared for." At 
length, to Dick's surprise, Lord Reginald made his 
appearance. At first Dick hoped he had come with 
overtures of peace, but the young lord's haughty bearing 
and outrageous remarks convinced him that there was 
little hope of their living on amicable terms together, 

** Let him go and live by himself as best he can," said 
Dick. " I should have liked to have had a companion, 
but I would rather be without one than be compelled to 
associate with so ill-tempered a fellow as he is." And he 
went on boring holes and hammering on the planks of 
his house. Next day Nep made his appearance, begging 
for food, which Dick gave him, but though he had several 
pigeons, he would not send one by him. 

Nep stayed on, hoping to get '% but Dick was 
determined that the young lord should be made tQ feel 

Building the Hut, 283 

his own helplessness. " If he want food for himself, he 

must come and ask for it/' he said ; " he chose to despise 
my former presents, and I intend to teach him which is 

the best man of the two." 

Dick soon got his hut roofed in, so that should rain 
come on, he would be under shelter. He had Still to 
make furniture for it, and to build a storehouse and other 

Before commencing these operations, he bethought him 
of the best means oi securing a supply of provisions, so 
that he need not be interrupted in his work. 

During two or three excursions he had made through 
the valley, he had seen the number oi birds and animals 
inhabiting it. The pigs, he thought, he could catch in 
pitfalls, though it might be a task of some difficulty 
without an iron spade to dig them in hard ground, but he 
was not to be daunted, and he determined to form some 
instrument with which to accomplish his purpose. 

Then he thought, " I ought to have a canoe to go out 
fishing, while the fine weather lasts." As he wandered 
about, he looked out for a tree to suit his purpose. He 
found one of sufficient girth and length, with a perfectly 
straight trunk, though whether the nature of the wood 
was suitable for a canoe, he could not ascertain, except 
by cutting it down. ,He had often felled trees at home, 
but without an axe he could do nothing. He went back 
to the carpenter's chest, in the hopes of finding one. 
Searching among the tools, at the bottom he discovered 
three spare heads. He had, however, to fix a handle to 
one of them. The first thing to be done was to find a 
piece of wood suited for the purpose. After hunting for 
some time, he discovered a piece of oak, washed ashore 


284 The Rival Crusoes, 

from the wreck On measuring it, he ascertained that it 
was large enough to form three handles. Before, how- 
ever, he could use a saw to his satisfaction, he considered 
that it would be necessary to form a stool, which he did 
from a piece of plank, with four stout legs fixed in the 
ground, close to his hut. He could now shape the 
handles without difficulty. Having sawn out one, he set 
to work with chisel and plane, and quickly formed a long 
handle which pleased him well Fixing it securely in the 
axe-head, he poised it, and found that it was all he could 

Throwing off his jacket and waistcoat, rolling up 
his shirt sleeves, and fastening a handkerchief round his 
waist, he set to work, and began chopping away at the 
trunk of the tree, on the lee side, so that, the last stroke 
being given on the weather side, it might fall without fear 
of crushing him. He laboured away without cessation 
until he had cut through nearly half the tree, when his 
arms began to ache. He stopped, retiring to a little 
distance to contemplate his work. " Another two hours 
will do it, and I should like to get it down before dark," 
he exclaimed. 

The wood was tolerably soft. This gave him hopes 
that he should be able to shape it without difficulty. His 
first idea had been to form only a fishing punt, which 
would enable him to go off a short distance from the 
land, or to visit the various bays in the island, where fish 
might abound. But as he considered the size of the tree, 

he thought it might be as well to construct one large 
enough to cross to any of the islands to the northward, 
which he knew to exist in that direction. For some 
thirty feet the trunk was almost of the same circum- 

A Tree ctit down, 285 

ference. By adding weather boards, and decking over 
a portion of the stem and head^ he might form a boat of 
a size sufficient to venture on a long voyage. 

After resting himself, he again set to work, until he 
had cut into the heart o^ the tree. Having penetrated 
deeply into the tree on the lee side, he now stood on the 
weather side, and prepared to give the finishing strokes. 
After every stroke, he watched to see in which direction 
the tree was bending, that he might spring out of the way, 

in an opposite one to which it tended. At length, the 
wood began to crack, and the tall tree hung over on the 
side he expected. He plied his axe with . redoubled 
vigour, when, tottering for a moment, down it came with 
a crash, making the earth around tremble, and throwing 
up a cloud of dust and leaves. He uttered a shout of satis- 
faction as he saw the first part of his work accomplished. 
In his eagerness, he would have begun shaping it out 
immediately, but darkness had come on, and prevented 
him from working. He had been so engaged, that he 
had forgotten all about his food. Hurrying to his traps, 
he found a couple of pigeons, which he hastily plucked, 
and, having made up his fire, put on to roast. While they 
were cooking, he kneaded some small dough cakes. 

'* I wish that foolish fellow had more sense ; I would 
gladly have given him some of these," he thought. "The 
chances are he hasn't been able to kill anything. Hun- 
ger, however, will perhaps bring him to his senses, and I 
shall have him here begging. I can't have the heart to 
refuse him, though he ougnt to be made to feel his own 
helplessness." Having finished his supper, Dick hung 
up the other bird, and put away his cakes for breakfast, 
that he might set to work as soon as it was daylight 

286 Tlie Rival Crnsoes. 

He had not hitherto formed a bed-place for himself, 
being content to sleep on the ground, with some canvas 
and cloth from one of the bales, which he had first well 
dried in the sun, for a covering. Being very tired, he lay 
down, but fancied that he felt creatures crawling over him, 
so he resolved to make a cot before the next night, that 
he might sleep more comfortably. He had noticed some 
palm needles and a quantity of twine in the carpenter s 
chest, wiiich would be of great service. He awoke before 
daylight, but afraid of losing time, he remained awake, 
thinking over his plans, until he saw the first gleams of 
dawn breaking in the eastern sky. He then at once rose 
and went down to the beach to take a bath, splashing 

about all the time he was in the water, and looking out 
seawards, in case of sharks or other dangerous creatures 
being near. Thoroughly refreshed, he returned on shore. 
Having dressed, he went back to his hut to commence his 
work for the day. He was so eager to get his boat 
finished that he would at once have begun on that, but 

there were other things of more immediate importance. 
The first was to see that his traps were properly set, as he 
knew that he was more likely to catch birds in the morn- 
ing when they came down to feed, than at other times in 

the day. It took him, however, some time to collect the 
nuts and other fallen fruits on which the birds fed. As 
he was thus employed, he counted several diiferent species, 
mostly of beautiful plumage, while a number of monkeys 
played on the boughs above his head, chattering furiously, 
as if to ask him where he came from. 

*' If the birds fly away, I shall be able to catch some of 
you fellows, at all events," he said, looking up at them. 
** I have heard say that some people do eat monkeys, 

Manufadtcres a Cot, 287 

though 1 would rather have any other meat. I'd sooner 
have one of those deer or hogs I see scampering away 

there ; though, as I have not much chance of finding a gun 
and powder, I must make a crossbow and arrows. I used 
to shoot pretty well with one ; if I can get the right sort 
of wood I have no doubt I could make one that would 
carry fifty yards or so, and I dare say that I should be 
able to kill some of those fellows, by lying in ambush, or 
creeping up to them. I'm sure, at all events, that I can 
knock over as many monkeys as I require." Having set 
his traps, he ate the remainder of his pigeon and some of 
the dough cakes, which he washed down with a draught 

of pure water. 

He then began on his cot. He might have made a 
hammock with far less difficulty, but it would require 

more space to hang than his hut afforded, and would not 
be altogether so comfortable as a cot. 

With two long poles and two short ones for the head 
and foot, he formed a framework, to which he secured 
canvas. Then fastening on the knittles, he secured a 
couple of blocks to the rafters of the hut, and thus formed 
a satisfactory sleeping-place. 

With some of the cloth he made a pillow and mattress, 
which he stuffed with dried leaves, while another piece of 
cloth served as a coverlid of sufficient thickness for that 
climate. " I shall want a table and stool, and I must see 
if I can find any plates and dishes, mugs, or a saucepan." 
He very soon had fallen into the habit of talking to 

The day was wearing on. He had seen nothing of 
Lord Reginald nor of Neptune. He was surprised that 
the dog had not paid him a visit, but concluded that he 

288 The Rival Crusoes. 

had found sufficient food for himself and his master, or 
that he would certainly have done so. Dick accordingly 
began to plan his canoe. He had found pencils and 
paper in the well-stored carpenter's chest. He drew the 
proposed shape of the stem and stern. His chief doubt 
was about the length. He finally settled to make the 
canoe thirty feet long. The tree was upwards of four 
feet in diameter. He proposed to make the gunwale two 
feet above this by raising it all round, and he thus hoped to 
get a craft of sufficient beam to carry cargo and go through 
a considerable amount of sea. He had the whole plan 
more clearly defined in his own mind than he could have 
designed it on paper. His first business was to chop off 
the bark and to saw the two ends even; then to level one 
side of the tree, cutting off rather more than one-third. 
On the level thus formed, he drew a line from one end to 
the other, carefully measuring it so that both sides might 
be equal. He next marked off from his drawing the 
shape of the bow and stern. By the time these opera- 
tions were completed it was again night. He determined 
that nothing except what was absolutely necessary should 
stop him until he could finish it He intended to fix on 
a keel and stem, so that the boat might carry sail. While 
on board the Wolf^ he had often heard the warrant officers 
discuss the best form of boat. The carpenter described 
the canoes in those seas with outriggers, which would 
prevent them upsetting. Dick had comprehended the 
object of these; indeed, the carpenter had shown him 
some prints in Captain Cook's voyages, which enabled 
him still better to understand the use of such contrivances. 
Though Dick was highly proud of his proposed craft, 
he was fully sensible of the importance of procuring food 

In search of Wood for a Bow, 289 

Next morning when he went to his traps, he found that 
no birds had been taken. He concluded that, seeing so 
many of their companions caught, the rest had become 
wary, but he saw many others of different species, which 
he hoped either to trap or shoot. To do this he must 
manufacture his proposed crossbow. Without loss of 
time, taking an axe and saw with him, he set out in search 
of the necessary wood, for none of that from the wreck was 
likely to answer the purpose. He went on through the 
broad valley, until he arrived at the smaller one, in which 
was the spring whence Lord Reginald procured his sup- 
ply of water. He looked out, but could see nothing of 
either the young lord or his dog. As he passed through 
the wood, he observed several birds ; they had large feet 
and long curved claws, and were about the size of a 
small barn-door fowl. Their plumage was mostly of a 
dark olive colour, with tints of brown on the other parts. 
They were busily employed in eating fallen fruits, and 
picking up worms and insects, running about here and 
there at a great rate. Curious to observe them, he hid 
himself behind a tree, when he saw some, evidently hens, 
hopping to the top of a large mound, where having scraped 
away the earth to a considerable depth, they each de- 
posited an Qgg, covering it up again with the greatest care. 

" Oh, oh ! " thought Dick, " if your eggs are fit to eat, I 
shall have a good store of provision," and going to the 
mound he soon shovelled away the earth, beneath which he 
found a good number of eggs. These he deposited care- 
fully in a handkerchief, wrapping them up with leaves, 
to prevent them breaking. 

The birds were a species of megapode, which are 
found chiefly in Australia and Borneo and the interme- 

290 The Rival Crusoes. 

diate islands. They are allied to the gallinaceous birds 
but differ from them in never sitting upon their eggs, 
which, thus buried in vegetable rubbish, are left to be 
hatched by heat and fermentation. It is said that a 


number of birds unite in forming these mounds, and lay 
their eggs together, but take no further care of their off- 
spring. As soon as the little birds are hatched, they run 
away from the mound, and at once begin picking up food 
suitable to them, trusting to their speed to escape from 
their foes. Dick, of course, knew nothing of this, but was 
well satisfied at finding so large a supply of fresh-laid eggs. 
He was also not aware that it was the very mound from 
which Lord Reginald had obtained the only food, besides 
shell-fish, he had been able to procure since his arrival in 
the island. Dick would certainly not otherwise have 

carried them off. Reaching the sea-shore, he turned 
back, for fear of encountering Lord Reginald, as he had 
no wish to have another interview with one who received 
his advances so ill. 

" I suppose that he will manage to kill or trap some of 
those birds for himself," he thought, " or, if he is hard up, 

that he'll come back and ask my assistance. Meantime 
I must see what I can do for myself." After hunting 
about and trying a number of trees, he selected four 
branches of wood, on which he meant to try experiments 
to ascertain which was most suited for a crossbow. The 
stock and string he would have no difficulty in forming. 
He hid the whole plan clearly in his head, and now he 
had got the eggs, which would last him for two or three 
days, he was in no hurry to finish it. He found a piece 
of deal, which could be easily worked, and he immediately 
commenced cutting it into shape, using his saw, plane, and 

Dick's Comfortable Cot. 291 

chkel. The first piece of wood he tried for the bow- 
broke. He had to take another, which bent easily enough, 
but had not sufficient spring. With the third he was more 
successful, and was fully satisfied that it would answer his 
purpose. He formed a string by twisting several lengths 

of twine tightly together, and he found that he could send 
a bolt of wood between thirty and forty yards. By the 
light of his fire he worked away until late in the night, 
when he was compelled from sleepiness to turn into his 

cot, with which he was well pleased. It formed a comfort- 
able couch, and neither crabs, nor beetles, nor centipedes, 
nor other creeping things came near him. Still, he could 
not go to sleep. His thoughts constantly reverted to the 
poor young lord, who was resting in his cavern with dry 
sand, or a bed of leaves, at best, for his couch, 

** Though he treats me with disdain, I ought not in con- 
sequence to allow him to perish. He is proud and 
obstinate, but, of course, he hasn't liked the way I have 
spoken to him. I hope to-morrow morning he'll think 
better of it, and will come to me for assistance, or will 
send Neptune. It is hard that the poor dog should starve 
because his master and I have fallen out." 

Notwithstanding these thoughts which passed through 
Dick's mind, he did not feel inclined just then to set out 
in search of Lord Reginald. After thinking over what 
he would say to him if they met, satisfied with his good 
intentions, he fell asleep. 


Seeking food — Disappointed — Shaping a bow— Reduced to ex- 
tremity — Poor Nep in disgrace — Fever — How Dick fared— 
The crossbow bolt — A curing-house — Neptune's appeal for help 
— Dick turns nurse — All but lost — A change of quarters — Lord 
Reginald's delirium — Finding juicy fruit — The recognition, 

ORD REGINALD awoke with aching head and 
confused brain. For some time he lay unable 
to collect his scattered thoughts. At length he 
remembered how he had been engaged on the previous 
evening. He saw the bow he was trying to form, by his 
side, and Neptune lying down at his feet, keeping watch. 
As soon as the dog observed that his master was awake, 
he got up and licked his hands and face, trying to arouse 

" I see you want food ; so do I," said Lord Reginald, 
sitting up. " When I have finished the bow we shall have 
plenty. In the mean time, we must get a supply of those 
eggs we found the other day." He tried, as he spoke, to 
With some exertion he got on his feet, but felt 

Taking his stick, however, he 

The fresh air of the 


scarcely able to walk. 

managed to totter out of the cave. 

A Bitter Disappointment, 293 

early morning somewhat revived him, and, followed by 
Neptune, he made his way towards the curious mound in 
which he had found the eggs. He felt very giddy, and 
could scarcely drag his legs along. The necessity of 
obtaining food, however, compelled him to proceed. 
Nep kept by his side, looking up into his face, and 
wondering why he didn't move faster. He had great 
difficulty in climbing to the top of the mound, and nearly 
sank down in the attempt. At length he succeeded, 
when Nep ran forward and began scratching away as he 
had done before- Lord Reginald, sinking to the ground, 
watched him. " It appears to me as if some one has 
visited the place since I was last here," he thought. 

Nep continued scratching away, but no eggs appeared. 
As Nep at length enlarged the hole, three eggs were dis- 
closed to sight. Lord Reginald broke one of them, and 
cast it from him with disgust, for it contained a nearly 
formed bird. Nep, not being so particular as his master, 
supposing it was intended for him, without ceremony at 
once gobbled it up. The second and the third ^gg were 
in the same condition. Nep took them also as his share, 
and afterwards went on scratching away, apparently 
hoping to find more. Lord Reginald was too weak to 
help him. 

*' That fellow Hargrave has been here, and carried off 
all the sound eggs, leaving only these few for the sake of 
tantalizing me," he exclaimed \n a bitter tone. 

After Neptune had scratched over the whole top of the 
mound. Lord Reginald, finding that he had no chance of 
obtaining any eggs from it, made his way with tottering 
steps towards the fountain, at which he and Neptune, as 
usual, quenched their thirst. It seemed to him, that he 

294 20J-? Rival Crusoes. 

could never drink enough to allay the burning fever which 
raged within him. Neptune ranged about, and showed a 
great inclination to set off in the direction of Richard 
Hargrave's hut, but Lord Reginald called him back, 
jealous of the regard he paid to his rival. 

*'If you play me that trick, master Nep, I shall tie 
you up. Remember, I will have no paying court to that 
fellow," he cried out. 

The dog came back with his tail between his legs, 
looking as if he would answer, "It will be your loss, 
master, but I obey you." 

Greatly refreshed by the water, Lord Reginald found 
that he had sufficient strength to get to the beach. He 
managed, not without difficulty, to cut off from the rocks 
a further supply of clams, with which he returned to his 

cave. He made up his fire, and dressed some of them. 
Nep watched him, showing that the eggs had not suf- 
ficiently satisfied his hunger. It was with difficulty, how- 
ever, when cooked, that, hungry as he was, Lord Reginald 
could eat any of the shell-fish. Even had he been in full 
health and strength, such food was not sufficient, without 
vegetables, either to satisfy his hunger or keep him in 

" There, Nep," he said, throwing the remainder to his 
dog, " they'll suit you better than they do me." 

Nep ate them up, and then came and lay down by his 
master's side. 

" I must try and get this bow finished, old dog. We 
will then try and procure some venison, or one of those 
hogs, if I cannot manage to shoot a bird," he said. 

He took up the stick he had been forming into a bow, 
and worked away as he had done on the previous night, 

Lord Reghiald completes his Bow, 295 

but he had blunted his knife in cutting off the clams 
from the rocks, and had no means of sharpening it 
effectually. He tried to do so on a flat piece of rock, 
and then on the sole of his shoe, but after an attempt he 
found that it was very Httle sharper than before. He 
discovered, indeed, that he was ignorant of the way to 
sharpen a knife, as he was of most other arts. 

At length, however, the bow was finished in a rough 
fashion, with a notch at each end to hold the string, 

which had now to be formed. He had first to untwist a 
piece of rope, then to divide it into small strands, and to 
twist them up again by means oi a winch, which he 
manufactured like those he had seen on board. The 
string was much thicker than he wished to make it, but 
he could not otherwise give it sufficient strength. At 

last that was finished, and fitted to the bow. He had 
still the arrows to make. He remembered the reeds he 
had seen growing by the side of the stream, and rising 
with difficulty, he dragged himself along, supported by his 
stick, until he reached the spot. He selected a few of 
the requisite size and length, but with his blunt knife it 
took him a long time even to cut one, and his strength 
was almost exhausted before he had collected half a 
dozen. With these he returned to the cave. 

The wings of the pigeons which Nep had left supplied 
him with feathers, which he bound on to one end. His 
difficulty was to form points. At first he thought that he 
could grind down some stones into the required shape, 
but after labouring away for some time, he had to give 
up the attempt. He then tried some hard pieces of 
wood, which he cut into shape and then hardened in the 
fire. Though not so heavy as he wished, he hoped that 

296 The Rival Crusoes. 

they might answer his purpose, and enable him to shoot 
straight for some distance. He had been all day without 
food except such shell-fish as he had taken in the morn- 
ing, and he felt little able to draw his bow with any 
effect As soon as he had finished his first arrow he got 
up, and placing it in the string, shot it along the shore. 
The arrow took a wavering flight, and flew some fifty 
yards or so, burying itself in the sand. Nep got up to it, 
barking with delight, while Lord Reginald crawled after 
it. On pulling it out, he found to his excessive vexation 
that the head had come off, and some time was expended 
in digging it out. Observing that he had not formed a 
sufficiently deep notch to bind it on tightly, he remedied 
the error, and was tolerably well satisfied with the result. 
Having finished the other five arrows, he set out, hoping 
to return with an ample supply of food. If he could but 
kill one deer, or a pig, or two or three birds, he would have 
sufficient to feed both himself and Neptune. The sun 
was still hot, but in his eagerness he thought little about 
it, and dragged himself along, hoping soon to see some- 
thing at which to aim. 

He would not have disdained even a monkey, if he 
could kill nothing else. He first made his way to the 
spring, where he had to quench his burning thirst. He 
then crawled on until he reached a tree, behind which he 
stood, hoping that some animal might come by at which 
he might take a steady aim. He waited and waited, 
however, in vain. He saw several deer in the distance, 
but they bounded along far out of range of his bow. At 
last he saw two hogs come grunting up, turning up the 
ground with their snouts in search of roots. They ap- 
proached slowly. Trembling with eagerness, hoping that 

/// Success. 297 

he might be able to kill one of them, he kept the arrow 
in the string, ready to shoot. The hogs came on moving 
from one side to the other, till they had got to within 
about thirty yards of it, when, fearing that they might 
suddenly turn off away from the tree, and sure that he 
could send his arrow to that distance, steadying himself 
as well as he could, he bent his bow. The arrow flew 
from the string, but though it struck the hog with a force 
which made the creature squeak, it glanced off from its 

thick hide, and both the animals, looking round, scampered 
away at a rate which made it hopeless to attempt over- 
taking them. Lord Reginald, however, getting ready 
another arrow, shot it, but it missed both hogs, who escaped, 
whisking their tails. He followed to pick up the arrows. 
Neither of them was broken. He next tried his skill at 
a cockatoo, but the arrow glanced against a bough, and 
the bird flew away with a scream of derision, — so poor 
Lord Reginald thought it He was equally unsuccessful 
when aiming at some green pigeons. He had lost fiv€ 
of the arrows, and was almost in despair, when he caught 
sight of a monkey. He fixed the last arrow to the string 
and took as he thought a steady aim, but the monkey 
gave a nimble skip, and went chattering away to a dis- 
tance, as if fully aware of the evil intended him, while the 
bow, as it sprang back again, gave a crack, and to Lord 
Reginald's dismay he found that it was broken. He 
dashed it down to the ground. 

" Unfortunate being that I am ! " he exclaimed. " Sur- 
rounded by plenty, I am doomed to starve." The agita- 
tion of his feelings almost overcame him. " I must depend 
in future for subsistence on the shell-fish, the wery taste 
of which I abhor.'' 

298 The Rival Crusoes, 

With difficulty he staggered towards the cave; that 
would at all events afford him shelter at night. . On the 
way he stopped to drink at the spring, and fill a large 
clam-shell which he had previously carried there with 
water. He could scarcely, however, carry it along without 
spilling the contents. He at last reached his cave. On 
looking around he discovered that Neptune was not with 
him. " The dog has gone off to that fellow Hargrave, for 
food. I'll take care that he doesn't go again. He ought 
to be satisfied with what I can get," he exclaimed. 

Putting down his shell he crawled towards the rocks, 
and cut off a few clam-shells, sufficient for his supper. 
He guessed that Nep would not require any. He then 
made up his fire with the few sticks he had remaining. 
He was about to throw his bow, which had caused him so 
much labour, on the top of it, when it occurred to him 
that by binding it tightly round with string, he might 
make it stronger than before. 

He wisely determined to do this. He had just finished 
eating his supper when Nep appeared. 

"You ungrateful dog!" exclaimed Lord Reginald. 
" You have been tempted off by my enemy. I'll take 
care that you don't go again," and fastening a piece of 
rope to the animal's collar, he secured it to a portion of 
the wreck, which had been thrown up not far from the 
mouth of the cave. 

Poor Nep looked very much surprised at the way he 
was treated, but accustomed to obey, he lay down with his 
face between his paws, while Lord Reginald retired into 
the cave and threw himself on the ground. While 
actively engaged, he had for a time thrown off the pain- 
ful sensation caused by fever^ but the terrible disease h^d 

Attacked by Fever, 299 

now a firm grip on him. His head and limbs ached, his 
throat burned. Though he drank and drank again from 
the water which he had brought in the clam-shell, no 
quantity seemed to assuage his thirst. He was unable to 
sleep for a moment, tossing about, now rolling on one 
side, now on the other, and often crying out in the inten- 
sity of his sufferings that death might relieve him. 

Thus the night passed by. Day came, but brought no 
cessation of the fever, which rather increased than 
diminished. All day long he lay racked by pain on the 
cold sand. A mournful howl reached his ears, and he 
saw Neptune stniggling to release liimself from the rope 
which held him. He attempted to rise and set his dog 
free, but his strength was gone, and he sank back again, 
unable to crawl from the spot. 

He thought of home, of his mother and sisters, and of 
his father, always kind and indulgent to him, whom he 
would never see again. The recollection of his num- 
berless sinful acts came with fearful force into his mind. 
^^l^o hope, no hope I" he muttered, as he clenched his 
hands. " What would I now give for a few weeks, or even 
days, to redeem the past? That lad Hargrave, whom 
I tore from his home and ill treated, whose life I took a 
pleasure in making miserable ; he would not forgive me, 
even if I asked him ; and should he discover me he would 
exult over my sufferings." 

Such were the thoughts which passed through his 
brain. Often he groaned with pain, and when at lengtli 
he had exhausted every drop of water, the fever seemed 
to increase, and he felt himself growing weaker and 
weaker. He almost wished that he had shared the fate 
of Voules and the rest of his companions, arid had been 

300 The Rival Crusoes. 

drowned before he reached the shore. He had had a 
i^-^ days of grace granted him, but he had made no use 
of them. Instead of trying to be reconciled to his 
enemy, he had treated him with haughtiness and con- 
tempt In vain he endeavoured to pray,— confusion of 
mind, brought on by fever, prevented him from collect- 
ing his thoughts, and all sorts of fearful phantoms passed 
before him. Again he was on the deck of the Marie, 
surrounded by the dead and dying, when he saw as 
clearly as if they had been present, the distorted features 
of the privateersmen struck down by the cutlasses of his 
crew, and the reports of pistols and clash of steel sounded 
in his ears. Then once more the tempest was raging, 
and the sounds of the seas dashing over the ship, the 
wind howling amid the rigging, the sails flapping wildly 
from the yards, the creaking timbers, the cries of the 
crew, were again heard. He attempted to shout to issue 
his orders, but his voice failed him ; not a word could 
he utter. Sometimes he fancied that he could hear his 
own voice, at others that \t was Nep's loud howls which 
broke the silence. Another night passed away, and a 
second morning came. Only a person who had played 
no tricks with his constitution could have endured what 
the young lord passed through. 

He was fully aware at times that he was dying, that 

unless assistance came he could not survive many hours. 
He stretched out his hand towards the clam-shell which 
had contained his stock of water, but it was empty. 
His tongue felt like a hot burning coal in his mouth. 
He closed his eyes from very weakness. How long he 
had thus remained he could not tell, when he was aware 
that Neptune was licking his hands and face. He had 

Dick finishes his Crossbow, 301 

just sense enough left to know that it was his dog, 
though by what means the animal had got free he could 
not divine. He heard the faithful creature moan and 
whine round him and lie down by his side. The little 
strength he had was rapidly decreasing, and he soon lost 

all consciousness. 

In a very different position was Richard Hargrave. 
With wholesome food and abundance of employment, 
he retained his health and strength, and his mind had no 
time to dwell on his forlorn condition. At break of day 
he rose from his comfortable bed, and kneeling down, said 
his prayers as he had been wont to do at his mother's 
knees when a child. He then got up, and considered to 
what he had best first turn his hand. 

Not far off from the hut was the log which he was 
anxious to shape into a canoe, and on his bench in the 
verandah lay his crossbow, nearly finished, only requiring 
a few touches to make it perfect, the most important 
being the arrangement of the lock, that he might let the 
bolt fly immediately he touched the spring. This done 
he set to work to form some bolts. The shafts were 
easily manufactured, but the bolt heads required more 
time. Hunting in the carpenter's chest he discovered a 
ladle and a quantity of lead. He then searched about 
for some clay for forming moulds. He remembered the 
white appearance of the bank of the stream at a certain 
spot, and hastening to it, he found, greatly to his satis- 
faction, that it was composed of exactly the clay suited 
for his purpose. He soon returned with a sufiicient 
supply to form a mould, hoping to be able to make it of 
a proper shape with a stem to fit into the shaft. By 
boring a hole into the stem he was able to secure it with 

302 The Rival Crtisoes, 

wire firmly to the wood. To give the bolt a sharp point 
he fixed a large nail ground fine, in the centre of the 
lead, tlius obtaining sufficient weight and sharpness for 
his object Although this bolt might be blunted should 
it strike a bone, yet it was well calculated to pierce the 
thin skin of a deer, which, from the size of the island, 
should it only be wounded, he would be certain to find 
again by tracing the blood stains on the grass. 

Having formed half a dozen bolts in the way which 
has been described, he set off on his first hunting ex- 
pedition. He had not gone far, when a herd of small 

deer — the only species which existed in the island — came 
in sight. He had observed on former occasions that 
when he got to the windward of them they invariably 
scampered off to a distance, and although no hunter, 
suspecting the cause, he determined to try and get near 
them by creeping up from an opposite direction. Hiding 
himself as much as possible behind the trees and bushes, 
he made his way towards the herd, making a long cir- 
cuit until he got well to leeward. Then stooping down 
he crawled gradually forward, stopping every now and 
then when he saw their heads turned towards him, but 
they still continued cropping the grass and the leaves 
of the bushes and lower branches of the trees. At last 
he got to within thirty yards of one of the herd, which 
had separated from its companions. He stood almost 
breathless, eager to shoot, and yet afraid of missing. 
He let fly his bolt, which entered the breast of the 
animal. It staggered for a moment, then turning round, 
set off with the rest of the herd along the valley. He 
was provoked at not having killed it at once, for he 

knew that ii often hunted the creatures would grow wild, 

Shoots a Dcef. 3^3 

and he would have great difficulty in getting up to them. 
He, however, eager to secure the deer, set oif running, 
keeping it in sight At first the wounded deer went 
almost as fast as its companions, until it gradually 
slackened its speed, leaving a long red trail, which grew 
thicker and thicker, to mark its course. It was soon 
left behind by the rest of the herd ; still it struggled on, 
until at length Dick saw it stagger, then turn round and 
finally sink to the ground. He hurried forward, and 
with a seaman's sheath-knife, which he had found among 
the things in the carpenter's chest, he quickly put an end 
to its sufferings. 

The deer was so small that Dick, whose shoulders 
were pretty broad, was able to carry home his prize. 
His wish was to preserve as much of it as possible. He 
reflected that, as there were only a certain number of 
deer on the island, were he and Lord Reginald to re- 
main there any length of time, the whole might be 
destroyed. Had he possessed salt, he would have been 
able to pickle the venison, for there were plenty of tubs 
for the purpose. Though he knew very well that he could 
obtain salt, yet the flesh of the deer would have become 
uneatable long before he could get a sufncient quantity. 
He had read somewhere of a mode of preserving the 
flesh of animals by drying it in the sun, and he had also 
seen his mother smoke bacon, so he determined to try 
both these ways. The preserved meat might also be 

of the greatest use, should he determine to sail away from 
the island in the canoe he was about to build. 

On reaching home, for such his hut was to him, he 
set to work to skin and cut up the deer. He then 
lighted a fire, and put a shoulder and leg on to roast, 

304 The Rival Crusoes. 

that he might at all events preserve this much, should 
his experiments fail. A portion of the remainder he cut 
into thin strips, which he hung up to a cross-pole, sup- 
ported on two forked sticks. He had great faith, however, 
in his plan for smoking venison. As there was clay near 
at hand, he mixed a quantity with grass, and quickly 
built up a square tower, with an entrance below and 
rafters across it, and a wooden roof. As he knew that 
it would be necessary to have a draught to keep up the 
fire, he formed tunnels under the tower. 

He had now his curing-house complete. He worked 
very hard, as he was aware that the flesh would very 
rapidly become uneatable. Having hung up the re- 
mainder, he placed a fire inside, piled up with green 
wood, which burnt slowly, producing a large amount of 

smoke. Not until he had done this did he — hungry as 
he was — fall to on the venison. Scarcely had he put a 
morsel in his mouth than he thought of Lord Reginald. 

" I wonder whether he has been able to procure any 
food like this/' he said to himself " If not it will go hard 
with him, for although shell-fish may do very well for a short 
time, with nothing else to live on they would prove very 
unwholesome. However, I suppose he will come to his 
senses by-and-by. If he makes his appearance, I shall be 
glad to offer some to him. Fancy the proud young gentle- 
man coming, hat in hand, and asking for a slice of veni- 
son ! I wonder poor Nep doesn't show himself, as before, 
to get a meal. I should have thought his instinct would 
have induced him to come. Surely his master cannot be 
so cruel as to keep him back^ unless he has found plenty 
of food for him.*' 

Such thoughts occupied Dick's mind while he ate a 

Nep visits Dick. 305 

hearty meal, the most abundant he had enjoyed since the 
shipwreck. He had just finished, and having hung up 

the remainder of the roast meat, was about to add more 
fuel to the fire in his curing-house, when by chance look- 
ing up the valley, he saw Neptune scampering rapidly 
along towards him. 

" Oh, oh ! knowing old fellow 1 He*s found out there's 
something to eat in this direction," said Dick. " He shall 
have it, too, and willingly would I give it to his master." 

As Neptune drew near, Dick was surprised to observe 

a piece of rope round his neck, and a part trailing on the 
ground two or three feet in length. In a minute Nep was 

up to him, licking his hand. Dick was at once struck 
with his woebegone, starved appearance ; the very coun- 
tenance of the dog seemed changed ; there was even an 
expression of melancholy in his eye, which spoke as much 
as words could have done. Dick examined the rope, 
which was a pretty thick one, such as Neptune, strong as 
he might be, could not have broken. The end, he was 
convinced, had been gnawed through. 

" Now, if that young lord hasn't had the barbarity to 
tie up the dog, to prevent its coming to me," he exclaimed. 
" He deserves to starve, and I suspect he and the dog 
have been doing that for some days, or Nep would not 
look so thin and miserable," and he returned to his 
larder, followed by Nep, who ravenously bolted the pieces 
of meat which he gave him. 

The dog, though he had had a good meal, did not seem 
content, but evidently wished to convey some intelligence 
to his entertainer. He first ran ofif in the direction of the 
cave, and then seeing that Dick did not follow, came 
back and uttered a low bark j then away again he went, 

3o6 The Rival Ctusocs, 

almost immediately to return, when he seized Dick by the 
trousers, evidently wishing him to accompany him, and 

then looked up at him in an imploring manner, which 

could not be misunderstood. 

" I suppose Lord Reginald is ill, or has met with some 
accident, and the dog wants me to go and help him. 
Well, I ought to do rt, there's no doubt about that," said 
Dick, moving a few paces in the direction the dog had 
taken. On this Nep uttered a bark indicative of his 
satisfaction, coming back and licking Dicks hand, then 
running on again. Dick had no longei any doubt that 
Nep was anxious to take him to his master, and he set off 
at a rapid rate, while Nep bounded away before him, 
uttering the same sort of bark as before, to hurry him on. 

"The poor fellow may be dying," thought Dick, his 
kindly feelings overcoming all sense of the injuries he had 
received " The sooner I get to him the better, or I may 
be too late to render him any help." 

On this, greatly to Nep's delight, he began to run as 
fast as he could, leaping over the fallen trees, allowing no 
impediment to stop him. He stopped for a moment to 
pick some juicy fruit resembling limes, which grew on a 
tree in his path, on which Nep came back and gave 
another pull at his trousers, as if fearing that he was going 
to stop. On passing the fountain he found a large clam- 
shell, which had evidently been left there by some one. 
He expected every moment to find Lord Reginald 
stretched on the ground, dead or dying, but Nep still kept 
on until he reached the sea-shore. He then saw the dog 
enter the cavern. At first he felt unwilling to follow, but 
Nep quickly rushed out again, and once more seizing his 
trousers, pulled away until Dick showed that he under- 

Dick goes to the Cave, 307 

stood him. On going in he perceived in the dim light 

the unfortunate young nobleman extended on the sand, in 

a stupor so nearly resembling death that he started back 

in horror, fully believing that his spirit had already fled. 

Fearful, indeed, had been the effect of the fever. The 

expression of his handsome features was changed, his 

countenance had assumed the hue of death. His eyes, 

half closed and fixed, hvid lost all signs of intelligence. 

His lips ■vpere parched and burning. His hair, tangled 

and disordered, hung in masses over his fine brow. 

Dick, on kneeling down, felt greatly relieved on dis- 
covering that he still breathed, though unconscious of his 

approach. He lifted the young nobleman's hand. The 
palm was dry and burning. In an instant, forgetful of 
the enmity which existed between himself and the un- 
happy sufferer, he bitterly regretted that he had not, when 

he came to his hut, attempted to gain his good will He 
remembered that once when a child he himself had been 
attacked by a fever, which had brought him to the brink of 
the grave ; he had then received the greatest kindness from 
the marchioness, who had brought delicious grapes from 
the hot-house, and ices, which had, his mother always told 
him, done much to preserve his life. 

" If he had treated me ten times worse than he has 
don€», I ought to endeavour to do my best to attend to 
his wants," said Dick. 

As he thought of this, he endeavoured to raise the 
head of the sufferer, who uttered a sound in so mournful 
and low a tone that Dick could not at first understand 
him, but on bending over him, he caught the single word 
"water." Dick looked eagerly round, the shell was 
empty. He then bethought him of the fruit he had 

3o8 The Rival Crusoes, 

picked, and cutting one of them in two, he allowed a few 
drops of juice to trickle into Lord Reginald*s mouth. 
This had an almost instantaneous effect He squeezed 
out a larger quantity ; some minutes more elapsed, when 
at length Lord Reginald became conscious of the relief, 
and eagerly swallowed the refreshing juice. Still Dick saw 
that his chance of recovery, while he remained in the 
cave, was very small, and after reflecting awhile he came 
to the conclusion that he ought, if possible, to remove 
him to his own hut. This would be no easy task, but 
Dick's arms were strong, and once having made up his 
mind, he lost no time in carrying out his intention. 

Nep stood by, anxiously watching him, apparently per- 
fectly satisfied with what he was doing. Lifting the 
young nobleman up as if he were a child, he carried him 

out of the cave, and made his way towards the fountain, 
every moment expecting to see his hapless burden 
breathe his last. The fountain, however, was reached ; 

then, placing him on the grass, he poured some of the re- 
freshing fluid down his throat. This seemed greatly to 
revive him, and he thanked Dick, sometimes addressing 
him as his brother, and sometimes as " Voules." 

"You are a better fellow than I took you for," he 
murmured. " Poor old Toady ! I thought you would have 
left me to shift for myself; but we have gone through 
strange scenes. Didn't you die, and didn't I bury you? 
but I'm glad you've come to life again, and I won't have 
you laughed at behind your bacL" 

Thus he rambled on, but soon again relapsed into un- 
consciousness. Dick had to stop several times to rest 
himself, but as he was anxious to get the sufferer within 
the shelter of his hut, he went on again the moment he 

Lord Reginald in Dick's Hut* 309 

felt able to proceed Great was his relief when at length 
he placed the young lord in his cot He was aware 
that he must not venture to give him meat ; indeed, the 
poor young man could not have swallowed it had he 
made the attempt, but he at once mixed him some of the 
juice of the fruit with water. 

Lord Reginald had swooned from weakness, and from 
being carried along so far in the open air. For many 
hours he lay in a state of stupor. Dick sat by his side, 
continually moistening his lips with the juice of the fruit 
and water, and bathing the sufferer's hands and temples, 
while he anxiously watched for returning life. All night 
long he sat up, fanning his brow with the feathers of some 
of the birds he had killed, and keeping away the stinging 
insects which flew into the hut. 

The next morning Lord Reginald opened his eyes and 
exclaimed in a dreamy tone, " Where am I ? What has 
happened ? " 

** You are well cared for, my lord," answered Dick ; 
" but don't talk ; you'll get round the sooner if you keep 

Lord Reginald's answer showed that he was still in a 
state of delirium. " Thanks, Julia ; thanks, mother; you 
have nursed me very tenderly. I'll do as you wish, only 
don't let that young ruffian Hargrave come near me. He 
has been the bane of my life. I wish that we had got him 
out of the Wolf before we sailed from home, or that a 
chance shot had taken his head off. You don't know 
what I went through when I was wrecked on that horrible 
island. He came and taunted me, and would have left 
me to die in a wretched cave by myself, while he was living 
luxuriously on birds, deer, and pigs that he killed." 

3IO Tlie Rival Crusoe^. 

Having thus rambled on for some time, Lord Regi- 
nald began to blame himself, and to confess that he had 
allowed Dick to be unjustly treated, and had instigated 
Toady Voules and others to behave ill to him. 

These latter expressions greatly relieved Dick's mind, 
although the abuse which Lord Reginald had showered 
on his head would not have made him less attentive to 
his patient's wants. For hours together the latter rambled 
on \ sometimes he fancied himself at home, and asked for 
ices and peaches and grapes from the hot-houses, turning 
his eyes to Dick, and ordering him to bring them imme- 

The word " grapes " reminded Dick that he had 
seen a juicy fruit somewhat resembling the grape of tem- 
perate climes, of which several of the birds of the island 
appeared to be very fond. He hurried out to search for 
them, leaving Nep to watch by his master's side. He was 
fortunate in discovering some bunches which appeared 
ripe, and instantly returned with then^i. Dick ate several 
himself, to ascertain their character, and was satisfied that 
they were wholesome and at the same time nutritious, 
though far less juicy than real grapes. On his return, 
Lord Reginald abused him, supposing him to be one of 
the servants, for having been so long away ; then eagerly 
seizing the fruit with an expression of joy, he endeavoured 
to convey it to his mouth, but such was his weakness that, 
letting it drop, he asked Dick to feed him. 

Dick bore all the abuse he got with the greatest 
patience. At length, exhausted by the violence of the 
fever. Lord Reginald sank again into a death-like stupor, 
in which he lay without moving the whole night and 
until the next day was far advanced Dick, as before, 

A Monuntary Return to Consciousness. 3 1 1 

continued to bathe his hands and face at intervals, and 
when perceiving by the painful motion of his lips that he 
wanted something to drink, he raised his head and placed 
to his lips a shell full of the juice of several fruits which 
he had collected. Lord Reginald eagerly drank this 
delicious beverage, then, opening his eyes, which Dick 
thought would never again have unclosed, the young lord 
looked up in his face, as if to thank him for the reliefl 
Dick saw by the expression of wonder and astonishment 
in those eyes, so lately fixed and rayless, that he knew him, 
and that the delirium had passed away. Lord Reginald 
tried to speak, the colour for a moment mounted to his 
pallid cheek as he said, " Hargrave, I don't deserve this 
kindness at your hands." Then with a deep sigh he 
once more relapsed into insensibility. 


Self-reproach — The crisis over — A storm — Returning to life — 
Gratitude to Dick — A right understanding — Turtle -catching — 
Gaining strength — Dick's care rewarded — An agreeable surprise 
— Something to read — ^A refreshing change — Hat-making — 

Hardly strong enough — Going on with the canoe — A design on 
the porkers — Pig-driving — Coffee berries and sugar-canes dis- 
covered — An earthquake — Grave apprehensions — The burning 

rCHARD HARGRAVE sat by Lord Reginald's 
cot, watching his sufferings, with the anxiety and 

sorrow he would have felt for a brother and 
dear friend. Not a spark ®f animosity remained. In 
his heart he fully believed that the young lord would die, 
and was ready to accuse himself of being his murderer. 
Only a short time during each day did he venture to leave 
him, to set his traps, or shoot birds, or collect fruits, 
which latter were more especially required by the sufferer. 
On each occasion when he hurried back, he dreaded to 
find that his patient had expired during his absence. 
Neptune was always left in charge, as Dick hoped that 
the instinct of the dog would induce him to summon him 

Self-reproath. 313 

should he be required. He was well aware that it would 
be dangerous to give any heavy food to the sufferer, and 
yet he dreaded, lest by taking too little, he might die of 
starvation. There was, however, he hoped, sufficient 
nutriment in the fruit to keep up his strength without in- 
creasing the fever. Day after day went by, and the 
violence of the complaint in no way appeared to abate, 
nor did the young lord recover his reason except at long 
intervals, when the words he uttered showed that he was 
fully aware of his own condition. His thoughts were 
evidently of a gloomy character, as he was constantly 
uttering expressions of self-reproach. No longer petulant 
or impatient, he appeared sunk in the deepest despon- 

This change of ideas was more alarming even than 

his wild fits of raving to Dick, who began to accuse 
himself of being the cause of much of the young lord's 
conduct He considered their difference of rank; he 
recollected his own defiant looks and expressions, which 
had so often aroused his rival's anger. " Had I treated 
him with respect, which of course he thought his due, ancj 
avoided him as much as possible, he would soon have 
forgotten a person so much beneath him in rank," ex- 
claimed Dick. " True, he abused his power on board the 
Marie; but how have I behaved since we were thrown 
together on this island ? " 

At last one morning, Lord Reginald appeared to drop 
off into a more quiet slumber than usual, and Dick was 
induced to go out in search of game with his crossbow in 
his hand. Scarcely had he left his hut than several deer, 
without discovering him, came bounding by. He shot a 
bolt, one of the animals was struck, and immediately i^Yi 

314 TIte Rival Crtcsoes, 

dead to the ground. Thankful for his success, he quickly 
returned with it, and having skinned it he cut up a portion 
into small bits, which he put into a pot, with the inten- 
tion of making some broth. Several times while thus 
engaged, he returned to the side of Lord Reginald, who 
still slept on. He had obtained from the rocks a small 
quantity of salt, sufficient to flavour the broth. While 
it was boiling he roasted another piece of meat, and hung 
up the remainder in his smoking-house, which had 
answered beyond his expectations. Though the meat 
dried in the sun might keep, yet it was hard and dry, and 
presented a far from satisfactory appearance. 

He had observed signs of a change of weather 
Clouds had been collecting for some time in the sky, 
Scarcely had he completed his culinary operations, than 
the rain began to pour in torrents, while the thunder 
rolled, and flashes of vivid lightning darted from the 
clouds. The fire was put out, but Dick managed to keep 
the broth warm. He anxiously watched Lord Reginald, 
expecting tliat the roar of the thunder would awaken him, 
but he slept quietly through the storm, and appeared to 
be breathing more easily than before. At length the 
thunder-clouds rolled off, the wind ceased, and the air 
appeared far purer than it had hitherto been, Dick, who 
had opened the shutter, which he had kept shut during 

the rain, went to the door to open that also and enjoy 
the fresh air. He was standing inhaling it with much 
satisfaction, when he heard Lord Reginald's voice ex- 

" What has happened ? Is that you, Hargrave ? " 
Dick hurried to the side of the cot, and was thankful 
to observe a marked change for the better, in Lord 

Lo7'd Reginald expresses his Gratitude. 315 

Reginald's countenance, which, though thin and pale, 
had a composed appearance. "Do not be agitated, 
my lord," said Dick ; " you have been very ill, but I 
trust you may now recover, as the worst is past I 
would advise you not to talk, but let nie give you some 
broth, which I have fortunately just prepared. It will 
assist to restore your strength quicker than the fruits 
on which you have so long lived." Saying this, without 
waiting for a reply, Dick poured some of the soup mto 
a shdl, which he presented to the invalid. 

"Hargrave, I can scarcely believe my senses !" said 
Lord Reginald. " I don't deserve this kind treatment at 
your hands. Have you really been watching over me all 
this time ? " 

" Do not talk about it, my lord," said Dick, " Here, 
take this ; it may not be first-rate soup, but I think it will 
do you good," 

As he spoke he placed the shell to the lips of his 
patient, who taking it in both his hands, drank off the 

" First-rate stuff, whatever it is," murmured Lord Regi- 
nald. " Pray give me some more, I feel it putting new 
life into me. I have had a narrow escape, I suspect If 
it hadn't been for you, Hargrave, I should have died ; I am 
fully aware of that" 

" I only did my duty, and I am thankful to see your 
lordship so much better," said Dick. 

"You are a generous, noble fellow, Hargrave, that I 
know, for, after the way I treated you, I had no right to 
expect that you would trouble yourself about me." 

" I should never have forgiven myself if I hadn't done 

ray best to look after your lordship," answered Dick, 


3 1 6 The Rival Crusoes, 

turning away to make some of the cooling drink, which 
had hitherto proved so beneficial to his patient. 

" Hargrave, my dear fellow," said Lord Reginald, in a 
comparatively strong tone of voice, " can you really 


forgive me ? " 

" My lord, I am sure I need your forgiveness, so pray 
don't ask me to forgive you, though I do so most heartily. 
Let bygones be bygones. It will be the happiest day of 
my life when I see you restored to perfect health." 

" Hargrave, I wonder I could have been guilty of 
persecuting a man capable of such generous conduct," 
exclaimed Lord E-eginald. 

"Again I say, my lord, don't talk about it," answered 
Dick, observing that Lord Reginald was becoming too 
much agitated. " I trust in a short time that you will be 
well enough to'say what you think fit ; but I want you to 
understand that not a particle of ill feeling, to the best of 
my belief, remains in my heart." 

" I must say what I have got to say, or I may never 
have an opportunity," replied Lord Reginald ; "for what 
I can tell I may not have another interval of reason, I 
wish to assure you that I dio at peace with you, and pray 
for forgiveness from all I have ever ill treated. When 
I am gOTXQ, cut off a lock of my hair, and if you ever 
reach home give it to my mother, and tell her that one of 
my greatest regrets was not being able to see her and my 
brothers and sisters again, and confessing to my father 
that I had attempted to misrepresent you to him. Again, 

I ask, can you forgive me ? " and Lord Reginald stretched 
out his emaciated hands towards Dick, who gave his in 
return, as he answered 

" Yes, yes, indeed I do, most heartily." As Lord Regi- 

Turtles appear, 317 

nald grasped his hand, he pressed it to his lips, and burst 
into tears. 

Dick felt a choking sensation, such as he had never 
before experienced, and turned away from a delicacy of 
feeling, lest Lord Reginald should be ashamed of the 
agitation he was exhibiting. He felt also very anxious to 
calm the mind of his patient, who in his weak state was 
ill able to undergo any excitement 

For a long time after this the poor young lord was 
unable to rise from his cot, but every day Dick observed 
a change for the better, it being a good sign that he 
evidently enjoyed the food provided for him. 

Dick had now to leave him for a much longer time 
than before to the care of Neptune, who never quitted 
his master's side during his absence. 

One night, after his day's work was over, Dick had 
wandered down to the sea-shore, with a thick stick in his 
hand, which he usually carried to defend himself, should 
he encounter any savage beasts, as he thought that such 
might possibly exist, though he had not hitherto seen them. 

As he approached the beach, he caught sight on the 
white sand of some dark objects, which were crawling up 
slowly from the sea. Though he had never before seen 
any, he at once guessed that they were turtles. He re- 
mained concealed, so as to allow them, without being 
frightened, to reach the upper part of the beach, where 
they began scratching away and depositing their eggs. 

" We shall have food enough now, without diminishing 
the stock of wild animals on shore," thought Dick. 
" Those are just the things to do Lord Reginald good. 
If we have to make a voyage, we can lay in a good store 
of them," 

3i8 The Rival Crttsoes. 

He wisely waited until a number of turtles had 
deposited their eggs in the sand, then rushing from his 
place of concealment, he turned over half a dozen on 
their backs, thus effectually preventing them from making 


their escape. Then, seizing one by the hind legs, he 
dragged it up towards his hut, when he killed it Lord 
Reginald was still awake. He ran in and told him the 
good news. 

" I wish that I could get up and help you, Hargrave," 
was the answer. 

"Do not think of it, my lord," said Dick. "I can 
manage them by myself," and away he again started, and 
dragged up in succession the remainder of his captives. 
These, however, he did not kill. He determined, if 
possible, to keep them alive until the flesh of the first was 
consumed. They might exist on their backs, he knew, 
for a considerable time, but he rightly feared that the 
heat would kill them, unless he could bring up a sufficient 
quantity of water to pour over them. This would be a 
severe task, and it appeared to him that the best thing he 
could do would be to build a pen, and enclose these and 
any others he might catch on subsequent nights. He 
accordingly at once, as the moon was bright, set about 
canying out his intention. By actively plying his axe, he 
cut down a number of thick stakes, which he drove into 
the sand just above high-water mark, so that by digging 
a channel he might let the sea in at every high tide. As 
he had abundance of rope, he lashed some cross bars 
along the sides, so as to keep the stakes firm. He saw 

there was no necessity for putting the perpendicular 

stakes close together, as the turtles were upwards of two 
feet across, and could not manage to get through a 

Dick forms a Turtle Pen* 3 1 9 

less space. In a couple of hours he had finished his 
task, and dragging back the turtles he allowed them to 
crawl about in their natural position. He waited until 
the next morning to roof in his pen, which was necessary, 
he saw, for the sake of keeping the turtles cooL 

"You have worked hard, my dear Hargrave," said 
Lord Reginald, when he returned. " I should not have 
thought of attempting the task until to-morrow morning. 
It would have taken me the whole day, or probably 
longer. As soon as I am well, you must teach me how to 
use your tools, and let me help you, for I liave no desire 
to eat the bread of idleness." 

" I have been accustomed to carpentering since I was 
a boy, so that what your lordship would find difficult 
would prove easy to me," answered Dick; " but I should 
be very thankful if your lordship will think fit to work at 
tne canoe which I thought of building before you were 
taken ill. I haven't seen a single vessel pass since we 
have been here, and perhaps none will come near us for 
many months to come. We might find it necessary to 
quit the island to rejoin our ship or to g^i on board some 
other vessel. In the mean time we may use our boat to 
go out fishing, and thus obtain a change of diet." 

" A boat ! Do you really mean to say that you could 
build a boat ? " asked Lord Reginald in a tone of sur- 

" I intend to try and do so, for though I have never 
actually built one, I have assisted in repairing several, 
and know how they are put together," answered Dick, 
and he then explained the character of the craft he pro- 
posed to build. ** My idea is, that when your lordship 
can take a part in tlie work, we may build one large 

320 The Rival Crusoes. 

enough to carry us to Batavia, or to one of the other 
places of which the English have of late taken pos- 

" I really don't know that you ought to count much on 
my help, though I'll do my best/' said Lord Reginald ; 
" but the idea is a capital one, and I long to get well to 
be able to help you. But you must be pretty tired by 
this time, and you ought to lie down and get some sleep. 
I feel ashamed of keeping you so long out of your cot." 

*' Thank you, my lord. If I thought it worth while I 
would soon make another for myself; but my bed is as 
comfortable as I want, and I beg you will not think I 
miss the cot," was the answer. 

Dick awoke early, and found Lord Reginald sleeping 
soundly and calmly. As he watched him he began to 
hope that he might recover, and he knelt down and 
prayed that he might be made the instrument of restoring 
him to health. 

His patient gave no sign of waking. Dick, having first 
made up his fire ready for cooking breakfast, went down 
to the shore, to see how the turtles had behaved in their 
pen. He found to his satisfaction that although they 
had turned up the sand, they had not escaped. He at 
once cut a number of boughs to place over th,e top and 
the upper part of the eastern side, so as to shade them 
from the heat of the sun, which rose before he had com- 
pleted his task. He then returned, and looking into his 
hut, found that his companion was still sleeping. 

He now set to work to cut up the turtle, and to cook 
some of it for breakfast. He felt very doubtful as to how 
this should be done, but thought he should be safe in 
putting some on to stew, and in carving some cutlets, 

Dick attends on Lord Reginald, 321 

which he placed before the fire to cook, as he had done the 
venison. He also kneaded some cakes as thin and delicate- 
looking as he could make them. This done, he entered 
the hut, when he found Lord Reginald sitting up in his cot 

"I should much wish, Hargrave, to get up and wash 
my hands and face, but I feel so weak that I am afraid I 
could not accomplish it alone. May I venture to ask 
you to assist me ? " he said, in a hesitating tone. 

" My lord, I should be delighted to help you; but I 
am sure you had better not make the attempt. Ill 
get some water. I have a piece of cloth which will serve 
as a towel, and as I have a comb which I found in the 
carpenter's chest, I will, if you will let me, comb out your 
hair, and try and make you comfortable." 

"Thank you, thank you," answered Lord Reginald; 
** but 1 feel ashamed of giving you trouble." 

Dick smiled, and, going out, returned with a large 
clam-shell, which made an excellent basin, filled with 
water. Lord Reginald in vain made the attempt to wash 
his face. Dick, placing the shell before him, performed 
the office, and having washed his hands and combed his 
hair, with as much care as his mother might have done, 
the young lord repeated his thanks, and assured Dick he 
felt quite another being. 

" I hope you will feel still better," said Dick, producing 
several clam-shells, one containing several nicely cooked 
cakes, another some turtle cutlets, a third some stewed 
turtle, while a fourth was full of the several fruits he had 
gathered. *' I have cooked a variety of dishes ; but after 
your illness your lordship may fancy one more than 
another. Just tell me what you like best, and I will try 
and prepare it for you." 

•^22 The Rival Crusoes. 

" Thank you, Hargrave; I feel as if I could eat a whole 
turtle, or a deer for that matter," answered Lord Reginald, 
laughing in a way which greatly cheered Dick's spirits. 
However, on making the attempt, Lord Reginald found 
that a very small quantity satisfied him, and Dick did not 
press him to eat more. 

Every day after this he made rapid progress, though 
Dick would not allow him for some time to get up or do 
anything for himself. In the mean time, Dick dug out of 
the sand a number of turtles' eggs, which he hung up in 
bags in a cool place in the shade, hoping thus to preserve 
them. He also caught several more turtles, which he 
turned into his pen. He was never idle, sometimes 
working in his garden, in which he had planted a number 
of seeds, some evidently of melons and pumpkins, from 
which he hoped in a short time to obtain fruit. Of the 
nature of others he was not acquainted, but he had Httle 
doubt that they would prove useful in some way or other. 
Outside the hut he had built a storehouse, in which he 
placed all the articles which had been cast on shore. 

He had one morning taken his crossbow and gone out 
before sunrise in the hopes of killing a deer or some birds, 
that he might afford a variety of diet to Lord Reginald, 
knowing that such would contribute greatly to restore his 
strength. The deer, however, were too wild, and he 
was led further from home than he intended. At last, in 
despair of killing one, he looked out for some of the 
feathered tribe, and succeeded in knocking over a couple 
of white cockatoos and a green pigeon, with which he 
hurried back to the hut. On his return, he was greatly 
surprised to see Lord Reginald not only dressed, but 
employing himself in preparing breakfast. 

The Two Friends. 323 

" I am sorry, my lord, that I was not back earlier," 

exclaimed Dick, " that I might have helped you to dress." 
" I regret that you should have had so long to under- 
take a task which I ought to have performed myself, had 
I been able. Do not speak about it, my kind Hargrave," 

answered Lord Reginald, smiling. " I feel myself bound 
to take an equal share in all the work we have got to do. 

You have hitherto toiled for me, and it is now my busi- 
ness to work for you. Just tell me what you want done, 
and I will do it to the best of my power." 

" Pray don't talk in that way, my lord," said Dick. 
" I wish that you knew how much pleasure I feel in 
serving you." 

" I am sure of that ; but once for all, Hargrave, I want 
you to understand that while we remain on this island I 

am 'Reginald' or * Oswald,* and you are 'Hargrave,' the 
better man of the two. Don't 'my lord' me any more. I 
am not worthy of it. That sort of style may do very well 
in Old England, or on board a man-of-war, though my 
messmates there treated me as an equal, and took good 
care to make me feel that I was one, too. Will you 
accept my services, and let me work under your orders ? *' 

" I cannot refuse you anything," answered Dick ; 
" but until you are as strong and hearty as I am, you 
must let me work for you, and not knock yourself up by 
attempting tasks for which you have not the strength." 

"Well, well, my dear Hargrave, "we understand each 
other, and while we are talking the turtle and cakes are 
getting cold." 

Dick at last, getting Lord Reginald to sit down on one 
of the three-legged stools he had made, placed the 
breakfast on the tabic. 

324 The Rival Cr usees, 


"There is one thing you are not provided with, 
Hargrave, that is tea and sugar," observed Lord Reginald; 
"but perhaps we may find some substitute. Coffee 
grows in these latitudes, and very likely we may find 
sugar-cane in some part of the island." 

**I saw some pods full of seeds, looking in shape very 
much like coffee berries, only they were white," said Dick. 

"That was because they were unroasted," answered 
Lord Reginald. "I should not be surprised if those 
seeds were really coffee berries, and if so we shall soon 
have something to drink instead of this nectar, of which 
I confess I am beginning to get very tired, delicious 
as it tasted while I was suffering from fever." 

Dick sighed as he thought, " Perhaps the young lord 
will get tired of other things, as also of my society, when 
he regains his strength." 

His companion looked at him, but made no remark. 
"What about the boat you propose building?" asked 
Lord Reginald, when breakfast was over. " Could not 
we begin on that ? And if you will show me how I can 
best help you, we will lose no time." 

" I am very sure your lordship — I beg your pardon- 
you are not strong enough to do any heavy work," 
answered Dick, "especially in the sun. I must first 
make you a hat such as I wear, which will help to 

guard your head, and we will then, in the cool of the 
evening, begin work. We must first strip off the bark 
from the outside, then cut away the angles at the bows 
and stem, By-the-by, I have just remembered finding 
some books in an officer's chest, and though I cannot 
read them, as they are in Prench, they may amuse you 
while I am at work." 

Some Books discovered, 325 

"That is fortunate," exclaimed Lord Reginald. "Pray 
get the books, and let me have a look at them. I shall 
be very glad to read while you are at work, if you still 
insist on vay not helping you." 

Dick hurried out to his store-room, and soon returned 
with several volumes. Two were on navigation, another 
on astronomy, and a fourth on natural history ; but Lord 
Reginald found that the others were not such as were 
likely to prove edifying either to himself or Dick. He 
first took up one, and glancing over its pages, said, 
" Throw that into the fire." A second and a third were 
treated in the same way. He looked at the last more 
carefully, but finished by saying, "Let that go, too. I 
am very sure that it will be better not to read at all than 
to fill our minds with the evil thoughts such works as 
these are likely to create. I should at one time have 
been amused, and considered that there was no harm 
in perusing such tales. After being so mercifully pre- 
served, I look at matters in a very different light. I am 
sure that allowing our minds to dwell on any such sub- 
jects as those books contained, is offensive to a pure 
and holy God. What would I not give for some really 
well-written books, and more than anything for a Bible, 

which, after all, as I have often heard my mother say, is 
the Book of books." 

" I have heard my mother say the same," observed 
Dick. " I am very thankful that you have put the tempta- 
tion out of our way." 

" What else did you find in the chest ? " asked Lord 

" Some nautical instruments, which, although they are 
French; I dare say you know how to use," said Dick. 

326 The Rival Crusoes. 

" And, — how stupid I was not to think of it before ! 
— some shirts and waistcoats and other articles of dress. 
I must get you to put them on at once, while I wash out 
your own linen : tliey will add much to your comfort, 


and though they may be damp, the sun will soon dry 
them." Dick immediately hung out the French officers' 
clothing, and then brought a clam-shell, larger than an 
ordinary foot-tub, full of water, that Lord Reginald might 
enjoy a bath, which he had hitherto been afraid of taking. 

" I feel quite like a new man ! " exclaimed the young 
lord, after he had dressed himself. ** If you will not let 
me work to-day, I hope by to-morrow to show that I can 
do something. It won*t be for the want of will if I don't 

Dick, who had before this gone out, had returned with 
a supply of palm leaves, and sat down to make a hat, 
while Lord Reginald opened one of the books, and with 
considerable fluency translated a portion of its contents. 
Dick listened attentively while he plaited away at the 
hat, stopping every now and then to ask for an explana- 

"I am glad to see you take interest in the subject," 
said Lord Reginald, " and if we continue it, I shall not 
only improve myself, but be able to give you a good 
notion of navigation. The instruments, which are the 

same as we use, will help us, and in a short time you will 

become as good a navigator as I am, as this book is 

evidently a capital one." 

Dick looked up and smiled. " You see, you can 

instruct me in some things, as well as I can teach you 

how to handle a saw or a plane." 

" All right ! " said Lord Reginald, laughing ; " so much 

the better ; we are quits, as I said." 

The Boat commenced, 327 

Dick was longer than he otherwise might have been 

in making the hat. When it was finished, his companion 
declared that it was capital, and that it would thoroughly 
defend his head from the rays of the sun. Dick had 
made the top very thick, while the sides were strong and 
light, with openings all round, which allowed of ample 
ventilation. He then insisted on Lord Reginald lying 
down while he went out to attend to his turtle-pens and 
garden, and to prepare a large saw to use on the boat. 

In the evening Lord Reginald declared that he felt 
quite able to commence work. 

"I don't want to hinder you," said Dick; "but I am 
afraid that you will find your strength not equal to the 

Lord Reginald, however, insisted on trying, and Dick^ 
notching the wood, fixed the saw ready for work, he 
taking one end and Lord Reginald the other, but before 
the latter had pulled it backwards and forwards a dozen 
times he had to confess that he could not go on, and 
sat down completely exhausted. Dick instantly ran and 
got some broth he had prepared for supper. Though 
the young lord revived after he had swallowed some of 
it, Dick insisted that he should not again make the 


attempt, and persuaded him to sit down in the shade, 
while he, with his axe, began stripping off the bark. 

Dick pursued the plan followed by boys when cutting 
out a model boat. He first carefully planed the upper 
surface, using a level, until he was satisfied that it was per- 
fectly even. He then began pencilling out the form of 
the upper works, so that both sides might be exactly even, 
avoiding the risk of making the boat lop-sided. 

" You seem to me, Hargrave, to bestow a great deal 

328 The Rival Crusoes. 

of pains on the work you are about," observed Lord 
Reginald. " You will have to scoop out the whole centre 
part ; what can be the use of polishing it down in that 
fashion ? " 

" If I don't do that I may run the chance of not having 
the sides even," answered Dick, " Now, all we have got to 
do, when we have formed the upper part, will be to turn 
it over, so that the log may lay quite flat, and, with the aid 
of some forms which I propose making, shape out the two 
sides. Though by using the forms we shall take longer 
than if we did without them, it will be better than trusting 
only to the eye." 

Before dark Dick had made some progress, but as he 
could not expect much help from Lord Reginald for some 
days, he determined in the mean time to prepare the 
wood which he would require for the gunwale, and also 
the forms. For the latter purpose he used some flat 
boards, which, as the canoe was four feet wide, required 
only to be a little more than two feet broad. This latter 
work he was able to carry on indoors during the evening, 
while Lord Reginald assisted him in drawing out the plan. 
They agreed that it was important to give the boat a flat 
floor, though she might be made more seaworthy by 
having a deep keel, which could be easily bolted on. 

Before they lay down to rest that night, they had in their 
minds' eye completed the craft. Dick saw Lord Reginald 
busily drawing on a blank page in one of the books. 

" There, Hargrave ; that's what our craft will be like," 
he said, when he had finished, handing him the paper. 
" You see, I give her three lugs, with a flying main-topsail, 
so that we can carry plenty of sail, if required, or get her 
quickly under snug canvas. By raising the gunwale two 

A Plan drawn out, 329 

feet all round, and decking over the fore and after ends, 
we shall have plenty of room to stow away our provisions, 
and be able to go through a pretty heavy sea. She'll be 
a fine craft, depend upon that, and I shall feel quite proud 
when we run alongside the old JV<y//a.nd hail her, to ask 
' What ship is that ? ' as if we didn't know her." 

" I am afraid it will be many a long day before we get 
the boat to look like that," observed Dick, 
her out will be a tedious business, I suspect, and it will 
take a considerable time, after the lower part of the hull 
is finished, to raise the gunwale and put on the deck. Then, 
remember, we have to fit her with outriggers, which we 
must make as strong as possible, or they may chance to 
be carried away." 

" Oh, you don't know how hard I shall work when I 

once begin," answered Lord Reginald. "I can fancy 
myself already chopping and sawing and chiselling away 
under your directions, for I shall leave all the more 
delicate work to you, though, as I improve, I may be able 
to help you in that also." 

Notwithstanding Lord Reginald's eagerness to begin, 
Dick saw the next day that he was far too weak to do any 
work out of doors. He could sit only in the shade, with 
a book in his hand, or watching him as he laboured at 
the bench. 

" Wliy, Hargrave, you ought to have been rated as one 
of the carpenter's crew, for you work as well as the best of 
them could do. However, I hope, when we return on 
board the frigate, that you may have a far higher rating 
than that You will have learned navigation by that time." 

" I'm afraid that will not be of much use to a man 
before the mast," observed Dick. 

330 The Rival Crusoes, 

" But, my dear Hargrave, I hope you won't always re- 
main before the mast," answered Lord Reginald. 

" I don't see any chance of my ever being anywhere 
else ; and pray do not raise my expectations, as I should 
never have thought myself of being promoted, except 
some day, perhaps, after I have more experience, I may 
become a warrant officer," said Dick. 

" Well, well, perhaps I ought not to have spoken of my 
own hopes and wishes," replied Lord Reginald. " I let 
out a thought which has been in my head for some days, 
and I would on no account try to raise hopes which may 
never be realized." 

Eager as Dick was to work at the boat, he was com- 
pelled to make excursions in search of game, and he 
seldom returned without two or three birds or a small 
deer. Besides oposfiums, he had occasionally caught 
sight of a tiger-cat, which, however, was not of a size to 
make him fear that it would venture to attack him, savage 
as it appeared while climbing a tree or leaping from 
bough to bough. Though he had no wish to interfere 
with the tiger-cat, he had a great fancy for catching some 
of the pigs which scampered about beneath the trees, 
picking up fruits and nuts, and digging for roots. His 

bolts, though capable of penetrating the more delicate 
skin of the deer, glanced off the thick hide of the pigs. 
He bethought him, therefore, after watching their runs, 
that he would make a pitfall in which some might be 
caught without difficulty. Finding the ground tolerably 
soft, he set to work immediately with a wooden spade, 
and dug a hole four feet square and the same in depth, 
which he covered over carefully with bushes and earth, 
rlis success was greater than he expected, for the very 

Pigs trapped. 331 

next day, on visiting the pit, he found two fat porkers 
grunting away at the bottom, and tumbling over each 
other, in vain endeavouring to extricate themselves from 
their prison. Running back to the hut for a rope, he 
managed to get it with a slip-knot over the hinder leg of 
one of the pigs, which he quickly hauled out. He took 
the precaution of having a thick pointed stick in readi- 
ness, should the pig attempt to charge him. At first the 
animal lay on the ground, astonished at the unusual treat- 
ment it was receiving. Dick then getting his stick ready 
in one hand and the rope in the other, gave a pull away 
from the hut. The pig instantly jumped up and dashed 
off at full speed, in the direction Dick wanted it to go. 
He followed, laughing, every now and then giving a pull 
at the rope, which he kept as tight as he could, at the 
same time holding his stick ready for his defence. With 
loud squeaks and angry grunts, on it rushed towards Lord 
Reginald, who was quietly reading, seated on the ground 
in the shade, while Dick shouted and laughed in addition. 
The noise aroused the young lord, who started up with 
looks of astonishment in his countenance. He was just 
in time to leap out of the way, when the pig charged full 
at the spot where he had been sitting, Dick being only 
just able to check the brute's progress, but he managed to 
bring it up by making the rope fast round \ small tree 
which came in his way. No sooner was the pig thus 
brought to a stand, than, looking round, it espied its cap- 
tor, who, however, springing back, avoided the onslaught. 
The pig, after making several strenuous efforts to escape, 
grunting and squeaking terrifically all the time, exhausted 
by its exertions, lay down, with its keen eyes watching for 
an opportunity of revenging itself. 

■ zz 

332 The Rival Crusoes. 

" I say, Hargrave, I might try my hand at building a 
pig-sty," said Lord Reginald. " I doubt that I am 
capable of any higher style of architecture, but I think I 
can accomplish that" 

" At first it occurred to me that we might build one," 
answered Dick ; " but I now think that it would occupy 
too much of our time, as it must be a very different style 
of structure to our turtle-pen. This fellow would soon 
knock down any building, unless very strongly put up. I 
should be sorry to see your lordship engaged in such 

" ' Your lordship,' you should say, 'is not capable of so 
stupendous an undertaking,'" remarked Lord Reginald, 
laughing. " But I say, Hargrave, you are forgetting our 
compact, ^ail me * Reginald ' or * Oswald,' which you 


" I beg pardon," said Dick ; " but if this fellow cannot 

be taught to behave himself, the sooner we turn him into 

bacon the better, and we can keep his companion in the 

pit until we want him to undergo the same process." 

As the boat was now realiy begun, their work could be 

carried on without interruption. Dick, the next day, 

took another excursion in search of the coffee berries he 

had seen, as well as of any other vegetable productions of 

the island. After searching for some time at the further 

tnd of the island, he discovered the pods he had before 

seen, which were now completely ripe. Examining them 
carefully, he was convinced that they were coffee berries. 
He accordingly collected as many as he could put in the 
sack he had brought, thankful that they would afford 
a useful and agreeable beverage to his companion, A 
short time afterwards, he came upon a wilderness of 

An Earthquake, 333 

canes, which he had before mistaken for bamboo, and on 
tasting them, he was convinced that they were sugar- 
canes, probably the remains of a plantation, long ago 
deserted. He cut a bundle, hoping that he and Lord 
Reginald might design some plan for extracting the juice 
and turning it into sugar. He was about to set off with 
his burden — a pretty heavy one — when to his astonish- 
ment, and no small dismay, he felt the ground shake 
beneath his feet This unusual circumstance was followed 
almost immediately afterwards by a deep hollow sound, 
and on looking up, he saw, in the direction of the cave 
dense masses of smoke issuing forth, followed by lurid 
flames, while several streams of lava began to flow down 
the hill. As the lava, however, took a course towards 
the sea, in an opposite direction to where he was standing, 
he watched for some moments the eruption, instead, as 
some people might have done, throwing down his load 
and running away from the neighbourhood. Satisfied, at 
length, that it was not increasing, he turned his steps 
homewards. He found Lord Reginald, who had felt the 
earthquake, and had been watching the volcano in activity, 
very anxious about him. 

" I am thankful to see you back, Hargrave," he said. 
" Though no harm has happened, one thing is certain, that 
it will be wise in us to try and get our boat finished as 
soon as possible, so that, should the hill have another blow 
up, we may make our escape." 

" I hope that matters will not come to such a pitch as 
to drive us off the island," answered Dick; " but if you 
are well enough to-morrow, we will begin work in earnest." 

" I am well enough to begin it at once," was the answer. 
" What have you got there ? " 

334 ^^^ Rival Crusoes. 

Dick showed the contents of his sack, 

" Coffee berries, to a certainty," said Lord Reginald, 
tasting one of them. " AH we have now to do i^ to roast 
and grind them. I am capable of doing that, at all 
events, and now let me taste one of those canes ? Sugar, 
no doubt of it Why, if that burning mountain doesn't 
drive us away, we may live on here in luxury for month? 
to come." 

" I shall be glad enough to remain, and never was so 
happy in my life," answered Dick, who spoke from his 

** I am very glad to hear it, Hargrave. I may say the 
same for myself, and I really think that I shall be sorry 

when the life we are now leading comes to an end.*' 


Proo^ress in boat-builJing — Hot pokers — System in working — Fixing 
on the keel — Pick and his pigs — Finishing the boat — The only 
regret — Preparing for the trial trip — The launch — Once more 
afloat — Aspect of the island — The volcano — Cleaning decks — A 

strange sail— Running for the bay — * * \Ybat*s to be done ? " — The 
boat recalled— A storm — A fearful night, 

HE two Crusoes, now no longer rivals, worked 
vigorously away at their boat Every day Lord 
Reginald gained strength, and was able the 
more effectually to help Dick, who, however, never spared 
himself. With the young lord's assistance, he sawed off 
the large pieces at the end intended for the bows, which 
he afterwards shaped with his axe and plane. From the 
stern, much less had to be taken off. Here the axe did 
nearly all the work. Having then planed all round the 
sides and bows, the log presented the appearance on the 
upper part of a well-formed canoe. The workmen had 
now to turn her over, and to commence shaping the lower 

Having stripped off the bark, which he could not before 
get at, Dick, again using his level, planed it evenly, and 

336 The Rival Crusoes, 

then carefully marked out the part to which the keel was 
to be fixed. With his adze he shaped both sides, using 
the forms he had previously prepared. In some parts 
there was very little wood to take off, though he had to 
cut away considerable at the bows and stem. Lord 
Reginald found that as yet there was comparatively little 
for him to do, as, from want of experience, he could not 
for some time use either the adze or the axe. 

At length, the whole of the outside of the canoe was 
shaped, and Dick and his companion surveyed it with no 
little satisfaction. 

" We must now turn her on her keel again, and begin 
digging her out," observed Dick. *^ It will cost us no 
little trouble, I suspect We may begin with the axe, 
but it won't do to use that as we get on, for fear of 
making a hole through the side or bottom. AVe must 
then employ the gouge, and I have sharpened up all the 
large ones I found in the carpenter's chest" 

" I have heard of a mode of digging out canoes by 
means of hot stones or hot irons. We have irons enough 
for the purpose, and by lighting a fire near at hand, might 
keep them constantly hot," said Lord Reginald. 

" I should be afraid of burning through the wood, or 


causing it to split, unless we use the irons only in the 
centre. We might try that^ and see how it answers/' 
replied Dick. 

Several stanchions and other bars of iron, which had 
been extracted from the wreck, were accordingly fitted 
with handles, and they soon had half a dozen "hot 
pokers," as Lord Reginald called them, heating in a fire 
close to the canoe. Dick, however, was of opinion that 
they made for more progress with the adze, but as Lord 

Scooping out the Canoe. 337 

Reginald could not use it in an efficient way, Dick pro- 
posed that his companion should work away at one end 
with the hot pokers, while he plied his adze at the other. 
He chose the stern, and using the adze vigorously, chopped 
away the wood under his feet, sending out large chips 
at every stroke, while Lord Reginald ran backwards and 
forwards with his hot pokers; but though he made a 
great deal of smoke, he found that he burnt away only a 
small quantity of wood with each instrument Though 
there was no doubt that he would succeed in the end, 
he had to confess that Dick's lacihod. was the most rapid, 

" Still," he observed, " every little helps, and I'll go on 
burning away at my end, while you continue chopping at 

This plan was agreed to, and they were both well 
satisfied with the progress made during a single day. It 
took them, however, not one day, but several, before the 
canoe was cleanly dug out The last part of the process 
was much slower than the first, from the necessity there 
was to be careful lest they should dig their gouges through 
the sides. As these became thinner and thinner, Dick 
would frequently stop and run his brad-awl through to 
ascertain their thickness more exactly, taking care to stop 
the hole afterwards. 

As may be supposed, they constantly kept an eye on 
the volcano, which occasionally threw up flames and 
smoke, but gave no indications of preparing for a more 
serious eruption. Still, the two Crusoes agreed that it 
would be wise in them to get their craft ready for sea, in 
case of being compelled to put off from the island. 

It was a day of rejoicing when they had at length 
completed the hull, and as they looked all round her they 

338 ^h^ Rival Crusoe^. 

felt satisfied that she was of equal thickness at the sides, 
except the bow and stem, which were of course thicker. 
They had now again to turn her over to fix the keel, which 
was already prepared. 

While Dick had been engaged in finishing off the 
inside with his gouge, Lord Reginald had searched all 
the timber thrown on shore, for bolts and nuts. About 
a dozen were found, with which the keel was fixed on, 
and bolted inside in a way which gave it great strength, 
so that it could not be torn off, even should a rock be 
struck. Having sheered up the canoe, she now stood on 
an even keel, and Dick and his companion walked to a 
little distance to admire their handiwork, and both agreed 
that she was as perfect as could be. 

"Yes, and we owe her perfection to your judgment, 

Hargrave. For by myself, I should never have thought 
of building such a craft," said Lord Reginald. " She 
will be more perfect, however, when we get the bulwarks 
and deck on her, the thwarts fitted, and the masts stepped 
and the sails set, and we stand away from the island." 

" I am in no hurry to go," said Dick. " If I had not 
felt it was my duty to work and get her done, in case 
an outbreak of the volcano should place your life in 
danger, I don't think I should have worked so hard.*' 

" But yours is of equal value," said Lord Reginald. 

" Pray don't say that ; except my father and mother 
and my blind sister — who have probably long since 
thought me dead — I have no one to care for me, and you 
have numerous relations and friends; besides which, I 
hope you will some day have the opportunity of serving 

our king and country, and becoming one of England's 

Constant Employment, 339 

" Come, come, Hargrave, you are breaking through 
our agreement, and professing to be of less value than I 
am. Your friends care for you, as much as mine do for 
me, and more so probably, if the truth was known, and 
as to my becoming an admiral, you have as great a chance 
as I have." 

"I am sorry to have to differ from you," said Dick, 
laughing in spite of himself. " However, we will get the 
craft ready and make a trial trip in her, and then it may 
be wiser to stay here until we are driven off the island, or 
some friendly ship comes in sight. Some day or other 
an English vessel must pass this way, or the Wolf herself 
may come to look for us." 

" Very little chance of that, or she would have come 
long ago," answered Lord Reginald. " However, I agree 
with you that it will be better to live on here as long as 
we have plenty of provisions, and trust to be taken off by 
friends, than have to cruise about in an unknown sea 
without a chart, with the chance of being picked up by 
Frenchmen, or of running into an enemy's port" 

Lord Reginald had now almost completely recovered 
his strength, and was able to help Dick in a variety of 
ways. They were both up at daylight every morning, 
their first visits being to their turtle-pen, and pig-sty as 
they called the pit where the porker was confined- The 
first pig caught, Dick had been compelled to kill, from its 
savage disposition, while the one in the pit had become 
perfectly tame and grunted with pleasure, whenever he 
approached with food. Had it not been for his wish to 
finish the boat, he would at once have built a sty for 
it, but he waited until the crail was completed. 

Neptune would lie in the shade, an attentive observer 

340 The Rival Crusoes, 

of all their operations, and at times would come and 
look up in his master's face, as if asking whether he could 
not be of some assistance. Lord Reginald at last taught 
him to carry about the tools, and when Dick wanted one, 
he had only to point to it, and the dog would bring it up 
to him immediately. It took some time to put on the 
bulwarks, as ribs had to be fitted to give them sufficient 
strength. Perseverance conquered all difficulties, and at 
last the hull was raised two feet all round, somewhat 
higher at the bows, over which a deck was fitted nearly 
six feet in length. Over the after part, a deck four feet 
long was formed, with water-ways six inches wide down 
the sides. The three masts were quickly made. There 
were plenty of spars for the purpose, as well as for the 
yards ; three oars, and a pair of paddles, which might 
be useful to pull the boat round when going about. In 
the evening they worked away, making the three lug- 
sails, the topsail, and a small fore-staysail. On the top 
of the gunwale, four spars were fixed to serve as out- 
riggers, supporting at either end two long flat boards, 
which they hoped would effectually prevent their boat 
from capsizing. An English flag had been washed ashore, 
which, although somewhat torn, after its dimensions had 
been reduced, would serve very well for the purpose 

Dick had a surprise for Lord Reginald. He had been 
anxious about the possibility of their boat leaking, through 
cracks which might open as the wood dried. Among the 
stores he had collected was a cask of pitch, which he now 
rolled out He had to exert his ingenuity in forming a 
tar brush for putting it on. This he manufactured out of 
cocoanut fibre. An iron kettle, which had been too 

The Craft completed, 341 

large for ordinary use, served for heating it They found 
that they had more than sufficient to pay over the whole 
outside, as well as the inner part of the bows and stem 
and the parts where the bolts fixing on the keel came 
through. The decks, which were covered over with 
canvas, were also thickly pitched so as to prevent any leaks. 
The craft was now completed. Having set all their sails 
to see how she looked, the flag was hoisted with three 
cheers, and they were now ready for whatever might occur. 
The same rollers which had served to bring the log to the 
neighbourhood ol the hut, now enabled them by dint of 
hard labour and the due application of handspikes, to 
move their craft down to the beach just above high 
water. It was close to the spot where Dick had drawn 
the carpenter's chest on shore, and the same tackle he 
had then rigged would serve to haul her up again after 
they had made their experimental trip. This they re- 
solved to do the next morning. Dick proposed that 
they should lay down moorings, where she could remain 
afloat. The bay was sheltered except from a southerly 
wind, and should it come on to blow from that quarter 

they must either run round to the other side of the island 
or haul her up again. 

It was nearly dark by the time they had got their craft 
down to the beach, and with hearts grateful to Heaven 
that they had thus far been able to carry out their design, 
they returned to their hut As may be supposed, they 
spent their evening in discussing their arrangements. 
They had still no small amount of work to accomplish, 
provisions to prepare for their voyage, and the means of 
carrying water, which was not the least of the difficulties 
they had to overcome. 

342 TAe Rival Crusoes, 

Neither, however, was anxious to leave the island. 
Dick was perfectly happy in the life he was leading, and 
dreaded, should he ever go on board a man-of-war again, 
notwithstanding the hints tlirown out by Lord Reginald, 


that he should be separated from one for whom he had 
acquired so deep an affection, and should be exposed to 
the same rough treatment he had before had to endure. 
Lord Reginald was unwilling, in so frail a bark, to run the 
risk of navigating those dangerous seas without a chart 
for his guidance, and was fully impressed with the belief 
that ere long some British man-of-war would be sent to 
search for them, or that they might get on board some 
English merchantman. Notwithstanding this, he was 
prepared, should it become necessary, to undertake the 
voyage, and either to steer to the south of Java, or to run 

through one of the numerous passages between the 
islands to the east of that island, and so to reach 
Batavia, His belief was that the Marie had been 
wrecked on an island to the south of Floris or Sumbawa, 
at no great distance probably from Timor, 

^o interested had they been in discussing these 
subjects, that it was later than usual before they turned 
in, Dick, who from having been the chief architect, was 
far more anxious than his companion to try their new 
craft, was the first to awake. Quickly dressing, he ran 
down to the beach to have a look at the craft, and see that 
she was all right. 

In a short time the tide would be high, and as the 
beach was steep, she might, resting on the rollers, be 
quickly launched, having the tackle ready to check her if 

The wind was aloner shore, so that thev misrht at once 

Preparations for the Launch. 343 

make sail, and either stand out to sea or run round the 
coast, and get a better view of it than they had hitherto 
done. The weather, too, was as fine as it had been for 
some time past. As far as Dick could judge, there was 
every prospect of its continuing favourable. He hurried 
back to light a fire, and prepare breakfast 

Neptune, who had followed him, when he saw the 
cooking operations had made some progress^ gave several 
loud barks, which awoke Lord Reginald. 

" You should have called me, Hargrave ! " he said. 
" I should have liked to have assisted in making prepara- 
tions for our trip," 

" As we may be kept out some hours, I was anxious 
that you should have as long a sleep as possible," 
answered Dick. 

" Thank you ; but I am as strong as ever now, and feel 
ready for any amount of fatigue," said the young lord. 
" By-the-by, as you talk of the possibility of our being 
out several hours, it will be prudent to take some pro- 
vender on board. Even if we are so much employed as 
not to care for eating, Nep, at all events, will have 
nothing to do, and will be glad of some food." 

" I thought of that," answered Dick, " and I have filled 
half a dozen cocoanut shells with water, and proposed 
taking some smoked venison and pork, with some flour 
cakes and a basketful ol fruit If you think we may 
require more provisions, we may tumble one of the turtles 
into the bottom of the boat ; it will serve as ballast, and 
not be the worse for the trip." 

"Why, we shall have sufficient provisions to last until 
we reach Batavia," said Lord Reginald, laughing. " How- 
ever, it's a$ well to be prepared. By-the-by, you were 

344 The Rival Cncsoes, 

speaking of ballast, the craft will require more than the 
turtle, and our provisions, even for a short trip." 

" I thought of that, too," said Dick, " and I have made a 
number of canvas bags, which we can fill with sand and 
take on board the boat after she is afloat." 

As soon as they had finished a hearty breakfast, carry- 
ing down their stores, they put them on board, and at 
once set to work to launch the boat. It was an anxious 
time, as it is to every ship-builder when he sees a vessel 
on a new construction, about to float on the element 
which is to be her future home. The tackle was hooked 
on, and the end secured on board. Several pieces of 
rock, of a size which they could lift on board, had been 
got ready, afterwards to be bound together, so as to 
form moorings of a sufficient weight to hold the boat. 
These had been left down on the beach close to the 
water, so that it would not take long to lift them in. 
Lord Reginald went on board to ease off the tackle, 
while Dick, with a handspike, gave the necessary impetus 
to the craft She glided down the beach, gaining speed 
as she advanced, until with a splash her bows entered the 
water. Dick gave a few more heaves to encourage her, 
and in another minute she was almost afloat He shoved 
at her stem with all his might Then leaping on board 

he got out an oar and urged her on until she was in deep 
water. He had fastened a rope to a stone, which on 
being thrown overboard kept her head seaward, when she 
was hauled back again sufificiently near the beach to 
enable them to lift their ballast-bags and mooring-stones 
on board. The former having been properly stowed, the 
latter, according to their arrangement, were bound tightly 

together, and the tackle being cast off, they paddled her 

The Trial Trip commeftced. 345 

into the bay, far enough from the shore to enable her to 
ride in safety. The moorings were then let drop, and the 
tackle so arranged that the boat could be hauled towards 
the beach without the necessity of their first going on 


With justifiable pride they surveyed their handiwork. 
" Now lef s get under way ! " cried Lord Reginald. " She 
floats well on the water, and is higher out of it than I 


As the wind was light, all the canvas was hoisted. The 
sails filled, and being sheeted home, the little craft stood 
away from the land. 

" She behaves beautifully 1 You ought to have been a 
ship-builder, and you would soon have become famous. 
Indeed, I am sure that you would succeed in whatever 
you undertook," exclaimed Lord Reginald. 

" You flatter me too much," answered Dick. " I picked 
up a knowledge of carpentering when I was a boy, and 
necessity is said to be the mother of invention, so, soon 
after we were wrecked, I began to consider how a craft 
could be built. I have had her planned out in my head 
for many a day. In what direction shall we sail ? " 

" We will beat up to the westward, as the island extends 
furthest in that direction," answered Lord Reginald. 
" We will then run round it, and by making a long tack 
out to sea, we shall weather the eastern point and stand 
back again into this bay. Should the wind not drop, we 
shall do it in four or five hours, though of course it is 
impossible to say how long we shall be detained. How- 
ever, we will trust to having a good breeze, and at all 
events getting back before night. If we are kept out the 
worst that can happen will be to lose our sleep. We 

346 The Rival Crusoes. 

must keep a vigilant watch, and on no account lose sight 
of the island." 

To this Dick, of course, agreed ; indeed, he would not 
have dreamed, now that he was once afloat, of disputing 
any suggestion of one whom he looked upon as his com- 
manding officer. 

" There is one thing you have forgotten, Hargrave." 

" What is it, my lord ? " asked Dick. 

"You forget our compact, Hargrave. It must las( 
until I dissolve it, and that will not be while you and 1 
are together," answered Lord Reginald. " However, as 
I was going to observe, we have forgotten to give this 
craft a name. She deserves a pretty one. Plave you 
thought about the matter ? " 

*' No," replied Dick, 

" Well, then, I confess that I have ; but I want you to 
name her," said Lord Reginald. 

" If I may be pardoned for proposing such a name, J 
should say call her the Lady Juliai^ answered Dick, after 
a few moments' consideration. 

** Lady Julia, I have no doubt, would be flattered," said 
Lord Reginald, with perfect gravity, " and I should be 
very happy to call our craft after her; but I think, as you 
are the architect, and not only the architect but chief 
constructor, that she should be called after your sister. 
In my opinion \ht Janet is a very pretty name." 

" I would rather that you settled the point," answered 
Dick, " and if you think fit to call her the Janet, I shall 
be perfectly pleased." 

" The Janet she shall be, then,*' answered Lord Regi- 
nald ; and from thenceforth their craft was called the 
Janrt by the two Crusoe^. 

The ^^ Janet'^ put about. 347 

After standing on for some distance, Lord Reginald 
proposed that they should go about This required no 
little skill and activity. It was necessary to haul down a 
foresail and mainsail. This they did, Dick leaping from 
one to the other^ and shifting the yards over, ready to 
hoist again, the staysail bringing her round, but as, 
from her length, she was a long time about it, Dick 
found it necessary to get out one of the paddles, a few 
strokes with which were of great service. 

Lord Reginald managed the mizzen, while Dick re- 
hoisted the foresail and mainsail. The rudder, it should 
have been said, was fitted with long yoke-lines, which, 
being led well forward, made the operation of steering 
more easy than it would otherwise have been. 

" I suspect that in a heavy sea we shall find that the 
Janet doesn't come about as well as we should wish,^' 
observed Lord Reginald. 

'* We shall improve by practice," said Dick, " and you 
forget that in a heavy sea we shall not be carrying our 
mainsail, and may be even without the foresail, so that 
we shall only have the fore-staysail and mizzen to man- 
age, and we may expect to be favoured with calm weather. 
She goes to windward, at all events." 

Still, Lord Reginald, like many other naval officers, was 
not much accustomed to sailing boats, and was less satis- 
fied with the sea qualities of their craft than he could 
have wished. 

Dick's trips on board the Nancy had taught him how 

a lugger should be managed, but she had, he confessed, 

a more numerous crew than that oiiht Janet However, 

he hoped by activity to make up for that deficiency. 

As i\\Q. Janet glided rapidly over the spooth surface of 


348 TJie Rival Crusoes. 

the ocean, he naturally felt proud of hen On iiearmg 
the eastern end they came in view of the side of the vol- 
cano sloping up almost from the water. Here and there, 
just above the beach, a few scathed trees were seen, but 
the rest of it was covered with lava which had rolled 
down from the summit, filling up all the hollows, and 
extending some distance, layer above layer, into th 

It was satisfactory to see that this was the direction 
which the lava had hitherto taken, but they also per- 
ceived that it might at any time rush down the opposite 
side of the hill, and destroy the animals and rich vegeta- 
tion existing in the two remaining fertile valleys. Dick 
was employed in looking out ahead for any reefs or other 

dangers which might exist off the island, when Lord 

Reginald exclaimed 

" Look there, Hargrave ! Look there I You see the 
volcano is in an angry mood." 

As he spoke, a low dull sound was heard coming from 
the shore, and from the top of the volcano rose a dense 
black mass, which extended itself like an umbrella. 
Directly afterwards down came a shower of ashes, cover- 
ing every part of the boat, while the coast itself was com- 
pletely shut out from view, except where a lurid glare 
could be seen on the summit of the hill, and from the 
streams of lava descending the sides. Masses of rock 
and other dense substances were also thrown up, and 
their splashes could be heard as they fell into the water, 
though they themselves were invisible. 

Lord Reginald steered to the northward, in order that 
they might as soon as possible get away from the 
dangerous neighbourhood, but it was some time before 

An Eruption of the Volcmto, 349 

they were free of the ashes and once more had the bright 

sun shining down upon them. 

They looked anxiously towards the island, and were 
thankful to observe that a large portion to the eastward 
was bright and fair, showing that it had not suffered 
materially from the eruption. It might, however, only be 
the commencement of a still more serious outbreak, and 
they were thankful that they had their vessel ready, in 
case it should become necessary to escape for their lives. 
As they opened up the eastern side of the hill, they saw 
the trees which had hitherto escaped, burning furiously, 


surrounded by the hot lava. They had too much reason 

to fear that the conflagration might extend still further, 

and destroy the whole of the remaining vegetation, 

though it was possible that the stream would stop its 

progress, and that the part of the island on which they 

had been living might be spared. Dick now set to work 

to get rid of the ashes which covered the boat. It was no 

easy task. He had only a piece of board to serve as a 

shovel, and a handful of oakum. He cleared the decks 

and water-ways and thwarts, but he found it impossible 

to get them out of the bottom of the boat. 

"Never mind," said Lord Reginald, "it will serve 
instead of a coat of paint.'' 

" She will look very like a coal barge," answered Dick, 

who was vain of the hitherto clean appearance of their 


The wind continued very light, and it was some time 
before they reached the eastern end of the island, 
which they calculated was at the utmost ten miles long 
and five or six broad. They looked out narrowly for 
any small harbour into which they might run, should 

350 The Rival Crusoes. 

the wind come from the southward, and blow into their 


With the risk of another eruption of the volcano, it was 
important to be able to start at a moment's notice. 
Should the wind blow into the bay, it might be impossible 
to launch the Janet, At the very eastern end they came 
off an opening with a reef running out to a considerable 
distance on the southern side. It had the appearance of 
just the sort of harbour they required, but as Dick had 
not visited it, he could not tell whether there would be 
space sufficient for the Janet to swing clear of the rocks. 
They had been examining it narrowly, and Lord Reginald 
proposed that they should row in the boat, to ascertain 
its capabilities, when Dick turning round for an instant to 
the south-east, exclaimed 

" A sail, a sail ! " 

Lord Reginald sprang to his feet, and looking in the 

same direction, observed, *^ She's a large ship, too, and 

standing this way, Wliat if she should prove to be the 

Wolf? " 
Dick made no answer. He almost hoped that she 

would not prove to be their ship. The time he had 

enjoyed so much would come to an end, and he must 

henceforth associate with those in whose society he could 

no longer take pleasure. 

Lord Reginald, not for a moment doubting that Dick 

was as pleased as he was, altered th^Janefs course in the 

direction of the stranger. They had brought a telescope, 

a remarkably good one for its size. He turned it towards 

the approaching ship. 

" From the cut of her sails, I doubt whether she's the 

IVol/j after all," observed Lord Reginald, " even if she's 

A Strange Sail in sight, 351 

English," he added. *' No, that she's not. She*s hoisted 
her colours. If my eyes don't deceive me, that's the 
French flag. Here, Hargrave, see what you can make out." 

Dick took a steady look. " That's the French flag, no 
doubt about the matter," he answered ; " if you look again 
you will be certain of the fact.'* 

"I was nearly certain of it before," answered Lord 
Reginald, "and as I have no fancy to be taken on board 
a Frenchman, we will haul our wind, and get back to our 
bay. We should fetch it with one tack, and byunstepping 
our masts very probably the boat will not be seen, or our 
hut either, unless the Frenchmen narrowly examine the 

" With all my heart," said Dick, greatly relieved, as he 
hoped to get into the bay before the Frenchmen had 
discovered ^q Janet. 

She, it will be remembered, was low down in the water, 
so that the look-out aloft on board the stranger might 
not have seen her from the distance they were off. The 
wind freshened, and the little craft made good way. 

" The sooner we are on shore the better. I don't like 
the look of the weather to the westward," observed Lord 

The sky in that direction had a lurid appearance, 
betokening a strong wind, produced possibly by the 
eruption. Dick was of the same opinion, and felt more 
than ever anxious to get on shore. 

" We shall fetch into the bay now," observed Lord 

The little craft behaved admirably, and by careful 
management was put about without the aid of an 
She now hauled up for the bay. 

35^ The Rival Crusoes. 

" We shall fetch the moorings, if the wind holds as it 
now does ; but we must lower the mainsail if it increases 
much/' said Lord Reginald. 

Dick kept the halliards in his hands. For some time 
she stood up to hei canvas, when a strong blast striking 
her, she heeled over until her lee outrigger was under 

" Lower away 1" cried Lord Reginald, and in an instant 
the mainsail was taken off her. " We shall probably have 
to take in the foresail, too," he observed. 

Dick stood by, ready to lower it Before many minutes 
were over it had also to be taken in, and the fore-staysail 
and mizzen were as much canvas as she could carry. 

The ship had by this time come almost off the island ; 
the whole hull down to the water could be seen. Lord 
Reginald had, however, too much to do in attending to 
the Janet^ to look after her ; he had now to pick up his 
moorings. Dick had manufactured a strong boat-hook, 
and was standing at the bows, ready to get hold of the 

" There it is, sir," he exclaimed \ " if you luff up now, 
we shall get hold of it," 

Lord Reginald put down the helm, and Dick at the same 
moment hauling d.o\Nn the fore-staysail, and ^kio. lugger 
shooting up, he got hold of the buoy, and soon had the 
cable secured. The question was now, whether they should 
haul the boat up on the beach or leave her afloat. She 
was less likely to be seen hauled up, and a few branches 
would completely conceal her. They decided to haul 

her up, and by bringing the cable aft, with a warp 
attached to it, her bows approached sufficiently near to 
enable Dick to leap out and get hold of the tackle. This 

A French Boat approaches, 353 

being secured to her bows, the stern warp was slackened 
off, and rollers being placed under her keel, both exerting 
all their strength, they hauled her up the beach. The 
masts were unstepped, and a few boughs, which were 
quickly cut, were stuck into the sand on either side of 
her, to hide her from view. 

Lord Reginald had now time more narrowly to watch 
the proceedings of the ship. Having come directly off 
the bay she hove to. "She has lowered a boat," he 
exclaimed. " The Frenchmen must have seen the lugger 
after all, and are coming in to ascertain what has become 
of her. We must decide how to act. If we hide our 
selves, they may in wantonness destroy our hut and our 

boat. What do you propose we should do, Hargrave ? " 
" I should rather hear what you think best. I'm 

sure I shall be ready to agree with you," answered Dick. 
" No, no ; I would rather hear what you think best," 

said Lord Reginald. 

" Then I would stay where we are, and explain that we 
have been shipwrecked, and would prefer remaining on 
the island to leaving it." 

" To tell you the truth, I am afraid, Hargrave, that they'll 
not give us the choice ; but still, I agree with you that is 
the best plan to try them. They may possibly allow us to 
remain, and not injure our property ; but I own I very 
much fear that they will carry us off, for the sake of ex- 
changing us for any of their countrymen who may have 
fallen into the hands of the English." 

During this conversation they remained concealed 
in the bushes, watching the progress of the boat. The 
anticipation of being detained on board a French ship of 
war, and afterwards, perhaps, shut up in prison, was not 

354 ^^ Rival Crusoes, 

a pleasant thought That such would be their fate, 
neither Dick nor Lord Reginald had any doubt They 
saw that the boat was a large one, and the gleam of 
musket barrels sliowed that she carried armed men. 


All this time the wind had been increasing, and the 
weather looked worse and worse. Presently a flash 
issued from the side of the ship, and a loud report 
reached their ears, 

" That's a signal for the recall of the boat," observed 
Lord Reginald. 

The officer in command, now that he was so close in, 
appeared unwilling to obey it, but another gun was fired 
to show that the captain was in earnest in the matter, and 
the boat being put round, the crew, bending their backs to 
the oars, pulled away towards their ship. 

They had no time to lose, for the threatened gale was 
fast approaching. A third gun was fired to hasten them ; 
the wind, however, came from the north-west, which was 
in their favour, while Lord Reginald and Dick were 
thankful that there was little risk of Xht/ayiefs suffering. 
They, however, as a precautionary measure, by rigging an 
additional tackle, got her higher up the beach. They 
also secured her by stays at either side, fixed to pegs run 
deeply into the sand, for they well knew the effects of a 
hurricane in those seas. 

They had good reason to be thankful that they had got 
on shore before it came on. Dick looked towards the 
volcano. The eruption had, however, subsided, and the 
rain, which now came down in torrents, had apparently 
extinguished the fire which they had so much dreaded. 
What had become of the ship they could not tell, as she 
had completely disappeared in the watery veil which 

A Hurricane rages. 355 

intcfvcftcd between her and the land. They could only 
hope that the boat had got alongside, and that her crew 
had been taken on board. Dick had built his hut so 
strongly that it withstood the furious blast raging round, 
which shook it every now and then, threatening to tear 

it up from the foundation, while the roof creaked and 

clattered as if about to be carried off. The night was a 

more fearful one than any they had passed since that of 

their shipwreck ; but how different were their feelings ! 

The two inhabitants were then at deadly enmity; now 

they were bound together by the nearest ties of friendship, 

and each was anxious to serve the other. The thunder 

roared, the lightning ilashed, and the rain continued to 

come down in liquid sheets. 

"We have reason to be thankful for this," said Lord 

Reginald, "for had not the rain come on, the whole 

island might possibly, by this time, have been covered 

with flame, and we should not have had a spot on which 
to rest our feet with safety.". 

Their chief anxiety was about their boat. Though 

the ocean might not reach her, she might be blo\\'Ti away, 

or the tree to which she was secured might be torn up by 

its roots, and crush her; if so, should another eruption 

of the volcano occur, their condition would be truly 



Continuation of the gale — A shipwreck — To the rescue — Dick saves 
Lord Reginald's life — Nearly drowned — In the cave — Increased 
numbers — Cause for alarm — The return to the hut — Things 
thrown on shore — Preparations for quitting the island — Increased 
stores necessary — Commotion of the island — -A hasty embarka- 
tion — Voyage of the Janet — The pirate fleet — A chase — Along- 
side the Wolf~Qova% on board — Dick made an officer — Mr. 
Bitts gives good advice — The return to England — An unlooked- 
for meeting at Elverston Hall — Home — Ben Rudall's wife — 

HE gale raged through the livelong night. The 
roaring of the breakers on the shore, the 
howling of the wind amidst the rocks and 
trees, kept the two Crusoes awake for many hours. They 
heartily hoped that the wind might not change and drive 
the ship they had seen in the evening on the island, to 
share the fate of the Marie, 

Sleep at last overtook them. They were awakened 
at length by a tremendous crash. They both leapt out 
of bedj and hurried on their clothes. The hut, shaken 
violently by the force of the wind, seemed every 
moment as if about to be carried away. It was with 

The Storm continues, 357 

difficulty that they could force open the door to ascer- 
tain what had occurred. It was already broad dayUght. 
Several tall trees near them had fallen. They looked 
anxiously in the direction of the boat. The tree to 
which she was secured stood firm, and the additional 
ropes, which they had wisely used, had kept her in her 
position. The wind had shifted, and the sea was rolling 
into the bay, and dashing up almost close to her stem. 
Their next glance was at the volcano — that was still in 
a state of eruption, sending up smoke and flame, but if 
any ashes or stones were cast forth they were forced by 
the wind to the other side of the island. The young 
men earnestly prayed that they might not be sent in the 
direction of the hut, for while the storm raged their boat 
would be useless, as they could not venture off in her. 
Their next look was seaward in search of the ship. She 
was nowhere visible ; indeed, the thick masses of spray 
thrown up high into the air shrouded all objects at a 

" Can she have gone on shore at the other end of the 
island?" exclaimed Lord Reginald. "If so we may still 
be in time to save some of her people." 

Dick agreed with him, though fearing that, should 
the ship have struck on the rocky coast, all hands must 
have perished. 

'* If we save any of them, they may be glad of food,'' 
said Lord Reginald, and putting up such provisions as 
they had cooked, they hurried off, each armed with a 
long stick, followed by Neptune, who, although he 
seemed to have an instinctive dread of approaching the 
burning mountain, was yet willing to follow his master. 
Instead, however, oi bounding on before, as was \ii% usual 

35S The Rival Crusoes. 

custom, he kept close at Lord Reginald's heels. They 
took the most direct route along the broad valley, in- 
tending then to turn to the left down the narrow valley 
which led to the bay near which the Marie had been 



For some time they were protected by the high ground 
on the southern side of the broad valley, but on 
opening the smaller one they met the full force of the 
gale, and it was with difficulty that they could make 
progress against it The tall trees twisted and bent, and 
quantities of nuts came tumbling down, which they often 
had difficulty in avoiding. To the right was the burning 
mountain, towards which they cast many an anxious 
glance, for at any moment it might send forth a shower 
of stones and ashes, which might overwhelm them. As 
they reached the sea-shore, near the cave, they saw that 
their worst anticipations had been fulfilled. At the 
further end of the reef lay the wreck of a fine ship. The 
larger portion had been torn away by the fury of the 
seas. The masts, bowsprit, and upper works had all gone. 
Not a human being could be discovered on board, while 
the foam-covered masses oi water which raged around 
her must have carried oif any who might have attempted 
to reach the shore. The waves, surging through the bay, 
rolled high up on the beach, rendering it dangerous even 
to approach them. Masses of timber and plank, oi 

casks and cases, everywhere covered the space between 
the wreck and the beach. 

" There's not a living man to be seen. I fear all must 
have perished 1" exclaimed Lord Reginald. 

"I am afraid that you are right," answered Dick 
' No, no. I see two clinging to a spar in the middlt 

Two Men resetted, 359 

of the bay. One, at all events, is alive. He must have 
caught sight of nis, for he waved his hand. If the spar 
is driven in here we may save him." 

Together they hastened down to the edge of the 
water. Lord Reginald, in his eagerness, dashed for- 
ward, when a sea, rolling in, took him off his legs. In 
another instant he would have been carried away, had 
not Dick, at the risk of his own life, dashed forward 
and grasped him, struggling back with the greatest 
difficulty. Scarcely had they regained their feet, when 
the spar came so close that Neptune, making a spring, 
caught a rope which was hanging to it, and dragged it 
up towards them. Lord Reginald seized it and held on, 
while Dick prevented the spar from being rolled over 
on the two men clinging to it, for their strength was 
almost too far gone to enable them to help themselves. 
Dick, getting out his knife, first liberated one of the men, 
and assisted him up the beach out of the reach of the 
water. He then hurried down to render the same service 
to the other. 

" Thank you, my friends !" said the man first rescued. 

" You have saved my life when I had well-nigh given up 

ail hope." 

The other was too far gone to utter a word. 

"What! are you an Englishman?" inquired Lord 
Reginald, on hearing the first speak. 

" Yes, but my companion is a Frenchman, and yonder 
wreck is that of a French ship, on board which I was a 

" Whether French or English, this poor fellow wants 
looking after," observed Lord Reginald. " Come, lend 
a hand, Hargrave, and we will carry him into the cave ; 

360 The Rival Crusoes. 

it is the most sheltered spot hereabouts. Can you walk, 

my friend?" he asked of the EngUshman, 
" I'll try, sir," was the answer. 

While Lord Reginald and Dick carried up the French- 
man to the cave, the other man crawled, rather than 
walked after them, unwilling longer than possible to 
remain exposed to the force of the fierce wind On 
reaching the cave they found a pile of sticks which Lord 
Reginald had formerly collected. Dick having a flint 
and steel with him, they soon made up a blazing fire. 

Their first care was then to strip the Frenchman and 
chafe his limbs and chest. Under such treatment he 
soon revived. Though both the shipwrecked men were 
severely bruised, none of their limbs were broken. 

The Englishman, whose appearance was that of a mate 
of a merchantman, said that his name was Robson, that 


he had been captured three weeks before by the French 
ship — a large privateer — and that his companion was one 
of her crew. He had been somewhat roughly dealt with 
on board, but that the man saved with him was the 
only one who had treated him kindly. As neither had 
eaten anything since the previous day, they were very 
thankful for the provisions their rescuers had brought, and 
leaving the two men to finish their meal and recover their 
strength. Lord Reginald and Dick again set out to search 
for any other persons who might be thrown on shore. 

On leaving the cave they found that the gale had 
already begun to abate. They thus made their way with 
greater ease than they had expected along the beach, 
which was strewn with pieces of wreck. They met with 
several dead bodies, but not a single living being could 
they discover, either on shore or floating on the pieces 
of limber still tossing about. 

Threateni7tg Sounds. 361 

They were returning along the beach to the cave, 
when they saw the two men they had left there running 
towards them, their countenances, as they approached, 
exhibiting the greatest alarm. 

" There's something dreadful going to occur, sir," ex- 

claimed Robsoh. "We were just about to lie down, 
when we heard the most fearful rumbling noise, and the 
rocks about us trembled as if they would come down on 
our heads. Let us get away from this place as fast as 
we can, or we shall have been only saved from drowning 
to suffer a worse death." 

The dashing of the seas on the beach had prevented 
Lord Reginald and Dick from feeling the commotion 
which had so frightened the strangers, but Neptune 
showed that he was as anxious as they were to escape. 

" You are right, my friend," said Lord Reginald, look- 
ing up at the mountain. " We have a disagreeable neigh- 
bour up there, and it will be wise to get as far away from 
him as we can. Whatever happens, we may hope to be 
safe at the other end of the island." 

As no time was to be lost, they returned along the 
valley by the way they had come, glancing back every 
now and then to ascertain the state of the volcano. It 
was still throwing up volumes of smoke and flame, but no 
stones or ashes fell where they were. At any moment, 
however, should the wind change, they might be carried 
in their direction. The two strangers were much alarmed, 
Q-nd had their strength been greater would have hurried 
on faster. Lord Reginald kindly took Robson's arm 
Ko help him along, while Dick supported the Frenchman. 
Robson was much relieved on hearing that his preservers 
had a boat to carry them away from the island. 

362 The Rival Cr usees. 

"I only hope, sir, that the mountain won't get worse 
until the weather moderates, and we are able to put to 
sea," he observed. 

" We are pretty well accustomed to it now," said Lord 
Reginald, "and I hope that we shall run into no real 
danger. We shall be glad, I own, to get oif, if we can 
find our way to Batavia or any other place in the hands 
of the British." 

" I have been cruising in these seas for some years, and 
though the Frenchmen didn't let us know whereabouts 
we were, if I could once get sight ot Bali or Lombok, 
or for that matter any of the islands to the eastward of 
Java, I should soon find my way,*' answered Robson. 

" One thing is certain, that we must steer to the north- 
ward to get into the Java sea, and as we have a compass 
we shall have no difficulty in doing that," said Lord 


" Then, sir, I hope you'll put off without delay. I don't 
like the looks of that mountain blazing away there," 
exclaimed Robson, casting an alarmed glance over his 


" We will not stay longer than is necessary," said Lord 
Reginald. "We are thankful that we did not sail yesterday, 
or our craft would have been lost to a certainty." 

The mate, before entering the hut, was anxious to see 
the boat, and Lord Reginald and Dick, with some little 

pride, led the strangers up to her. The mate opened his 

" You are right, sir, in being thankful that you were not 
at sea last night," he observed. " She may do very well 
in smooth water, but in a sea way she would prove a 
curious craft to manage." 

Valuable Articles picked up. 363 

Dick felt somewhat indignant at this remark, though 
Lord Reginald only laughed. 

" I agree with you, my friend ; but we have to choose 
between being smothered or burned by the volcano, or 
making a voyage in her, and I prefer the latter alternative." 

On entering the hut, the mate, having complimented 
Dick on its comfortable appearance, assured him that he 
considered the boat a wonderful structure, and such as 
he himself would never have thought of building. 

Pierre Didot, the Frenchman, was equally compli- 

The two shipwrecked men were thankful to lie dowTi 
and go to sleep, while Lord Reginald and Dick went 
along the shore to try and pick up anything of value 
which might be cast on the beach. They were rewarded 

by discovering another cask of flour and an officer's chest, 
which among other things contained a chart of those 
seas. Had they known their true position, this would 
have been of great value, but as they were unable to 
ascertain this, the chart would be of little service, till 
they reached some land which the mate might recognize. 

They possessed, it is true, some nautical instruments, 
but as they had no chronometer and no almanac, Lord 
Reginald had been unable to work out his observations 
correctly, though he had instructed Dick in their use. 

The chest also contained a flask of gunpowder and a 
pistoL Some way further along the beach they picked 
up three muskets, which had been jammed into the rack 
in which they had been fixed, and the whole together 
had been washed ashore. 


observed Lord Reginald. 


364 The Rival Crusoes. 

'* Perhaps we can manage to put them straight; at all 
events we will try/* answered Dick, 

Several other articles, however, were found, two of 
them being empty water-casks, which were likely to be 
of more use than anything else. They returned to the 
hut, well laden with their treasures. They found the 
two new-comers sitting up, having just awakened, much 
refreshed by their sleep. 

As soon as Pierre heard of the muskets, he said that 
he had belonged to the armourer's crew, and was certain 
that he could repair them. 

Dick having prepared dinner, as soon as it was 
discussed the whole party set off to bring in the stores. 

"I say, that mate of yours works like a good one," 
observed Robson to Dick. " If I ever get the command 

of a craft, I should like to have you and him with me." 
"Thank you," said Dick, laughing. "I'll tell him 

what you say ; I am sure that he'll be pleased to hear it." 
As they had a long way to go, it was late before they 

had brought in all the articles collected. There were 
more than sufficient completely to fill Dick's store. 

The next morning, Pierre set to work on the firearms, 
and was busily employed the whole day, singing merrily 
while at work, as if he had entirely forgotten the loss of 
his companions. The rest of the party were engaged 
in filling the water-casks, as well as a large number of 
cocoanut shells. They also collected a quantity of fresh 
nuts, and all the fruit and vegetables likely to keep during 
the voyage, Robson, however, was in no hurry to put 
off; the sea, indeed, continued too heavy to enable 
them to launch the boat He examined her over and 
over again, evidently unwilling, except compelled to do 

Another Earthquake, 365 

so, to make a voyage in her. He suggested strengthen- 
ing the outriggers, by carrying ropes from the two ends 
under her bottom. He also advised that she should be 
covered in more completely with canvas, which being 
laced down the centre, spaces only being left here and 
there for her crew, would prevent her filling should a sea 
break on board. 

The first use Lord Reginald made of one of the 
muskets, when completed, was to kill four deer and a 
couple of hogs. These Dick dried and salted, that they 
might have sufficient provisions for their increased 
numbers. He formed also two additional oars, that, 
should they meet with calms, they might be able to pull, 
or enter an unknown harbour, with less risk of running 
on a rock or reef. 

Many months had passed away. To Dick they had 
been the happiest in his life. Though ready enough to 
trust the Janet^ he was in no hurry to leave the island. 
Lord Reginald, perhaps, was the most anxious to leave ; 
still he did not shut his eyes to the danger of a voyage 

in so frail a craft. Everything had been got ready for a 
start, when one morning the party in the hut were 
awakened by a more violent upheaving of the earth 
beneath them than they had yet experienced. On nish- 
ing out of doors, they saw the whole island moved in a 
fearful manner, tall trees waving to and fro, and masses 
of rock falling into the valleys below. 

" To the boat, to the boat ! " cried Lord Reginald. 
"My friends, there is not a moment to be lost Should 
the volcano not burst forth, the sea may recede and 
leave our craft far inland. The first thing we have to 
do is to get her afloat" 

366 The Rival Crusoes^ 

They hurried to the boat, and the tackles being got 
ready and the rollers placed under her keel, they com- 
menced launching her. With four hands this was a 
more easy operation than when undertaken only by two. 

Scarcely had the after part reached the water than the 
fearful rumbling noises increased, and the volcano 
begun to spout forth its contents, in a far more terrific 

manner than had hitherto been witnessed, while the 
atmosphere grew lurid with flame. Streams of lava were 
also seen descending on every side of the hilL 

The crew of the Janet worked with redoubled vigour, 
and by hauling on the rope attached to the moorings, she 
was quickly got afloat. While her stem still touched the 
beach, all hands were engaged in lifting on board the 
cargo, which, owing to Lord Reginald's forethought, had 
previously been arranged, water, fuel, and provisions, and 
besides other stores, several of the most useful of the 
carpenter's tools. Pierre had ingeniously contrived a 
cooking stove, which was placed just abaft the foremast. 
As the boat was loaded, she was hauled off from the 
beach. All the party were on board, with the exception 
of Lord Reginald, who, followed by Neptune, ran back 
to the hut, to ascertain that nothing of consequence was 
left behind. He discovered that the compass had been 
forgotten. He was just taking it up, and was looking round 
to see if there was anything else, when Nep, giving a 
peculiar bark, pulled his trousers, and he heard Dick's 
voice frantically calling upon him to return. He hurried 
out, and made towards the boat. As he did so, he saw 
that the volcano was in a state of violent eruption. He 
did not stop to take a second look, but climbing up over 
the quarter, and hauling up Neptune after him, he 

A Fearful Eruption. 367 

shouted to Dick to haul off. The Ja^tet was quickly run 
out to her moorings. The wind was from the westward. 
The warp being hauled in, sail was made, and Robson 
and Pierre, getting out the oars, pulled with all their 
might They had good cause for doing so. A vast 
umbrella-shaped cloud hung over the mountain, extend- 
ing on every side, and already ashes had begun to fall 
into the water close astern, while as they got further off, 
they could see huge stones, sufficient to have sunk the 
boat, falling into the bay where they had lately floated. 
The breeze freshened ; still that threatening cloud grew 
larger and larger, the sun, which had risen, appearing like 

a huge globe of fire through it. They would have been 
thankful for a gale of wind to carry them to a safe 
distance. Lord Reginald got out another oar aft, and 
Dick one fonvard. 

The young lord considered that it would be safer to 
keep the boat's head to the eastward, and then haul up to 
the northward, the course they intended to steer. As 
they watched the island through the dense cloud by 
which it was surrounded, it appeared one mass of flame ; 

while the volcano itself, with the hills beneath it, appeared 
melting away. 

"It's only to be hoped that they may sink to the 
bottom, and not break up any more stout ships ! " cried 
Robson. " However, as I have gained my liberty, I have 
no cause to complain." 

The wind freshened, and the Janet under all sail 
making good way, by nightfall the burning island ap- 
peared like a bonfire, far over the larboard quarter. As it 
was necessary to keep a bright look-out. Lord Reginald 
and Pierre took one watch, Robson and Dick the other. 

368 The Rival Crusoes, 

"Well, I never did think she would go along in this 
style," observed E-obson, looking over the side, and 
noting the way the Janet moved through the water. 

Among the articles picked up had been a half-minute 
glass, and a long line having been fitted, her speed could 
be ascertained. With the wind on her quarter she was 
found to be making seven knots an hour, which was con- 
sidered by all to be wonderfully good going. 

For two days the Janet stood on without any land 
appearing in sight At length, on the evening of the 
third day, an indistinct outline was discovered right 
ahead. A calm came on, and all night she lay without 
advancing on her course. Although Dick and the other 
men offered to get out the oars, Lord Reginald would 
not permit them to exert themselves, knowing that they 

might require their strength for an emergency. 

As the sun rose a breeze sprang up, and again they 
were skimming along over the smooth sea, at the rate of 
five knots an hour. At length, the land became more 
and more distinct. It was of considerable height, but 
the mate acknowledged that he could not tell what it was. 
At last he declared it to be the island of Sumbawa, and 
by steering to the west an opening was discovered. As 
no one knew the character of the inhabitants, it was 
agreed that it would be wiser not to land, and the little 
craft keeping in mid-channel, was not likely to be observed 
from either shore. 

For some hours they were becalmed, and it was not 
until nearly daylight that they approached the entrance of 
the straits. Running on all day with a fair breeze, before 
nightfall they had entered the Java sea. Here, however, 
the chart showed islands innumerable, and dangers of all 

Chased by Pirates, 369 

sorts. During the night, to avoid the risk of running on 
them, the Janet was kept under easy sail. For several 
days they sailed on, steering to the north-west, Lord 
Reginald determining not to touch at any place until 
Batavia was reached, unless compelled to do so from want 
of water or fresh provisions. They were in the longitude 
of Madura, a large island lying off the north coast of Java, 
when a numerous fleet of small vessels was seen in the 
north-east, standing towards them. Robson having taken 
a look at the strangers through his glass, cried out that 
they were piratical craft, which infested Borneo and the 
neighbouring coasts, and were wont to show no mercy to 
any falling into their hands. 

" We must try and keep ahead of them, then," answered 
Lord Reginald, " and if they come up with us, fight to 
the last With these three muskets and a pistol, we can 
do a little, and must make the best use we can of our 
boat-hook and oars." 

" The best thing we can do with our oars is to keep 
ahead of them," answered the mate. ''They are big 
craft, and would run this lugger down without ceremony." 

"And we will keep ahead of them," was the answer. 
" We will get out the oars, and try and make the Janet 
walk along." 

In spite, however, of the strenuous efforts made by the 
Janefs crew, it was too evident that the pirates, if such 
they were, were overhauling her, having a stronger breeze 

than she had got to send them through the water. A 
small island appeared on the starboard bow. The mate 
suggested that by landing there, they might escape into 
the interior, and save their lives, 

"Or be murdered by its inhabitants," said Lord 

370 The Rival Crusoes, 

Reginald, laughing. ** We will trust to our own little 
craft. We shall get the breeze before long, and we will 
then see if we cannot distance our pursuers." 

There appeared, however, too much probability that 
his hopes would prove vain. The pirate fleet, of thirty 
vessels or more, each manned by some fifty or sixty cut- 
throats, was approaching nearer and nearer. Lord Regi- 
nald having had the muskets handed to him, loaded 
them carefully, and placed them by his side. 

" We will keep pulling to the last, and when they come 
within musket-shot, I'll pick off some of the fellows in the 
leading vessel. That will make them fancy we are better 
armed than we are, and they may not think it worth while 
to attempt capturing us." 

They were at this time passing to the southward of the 

island before mentioned. The breeze freshened, and 
the Janet made better way than she had hitherto been 

doing. However, the pirates had already got almost within 
musket-shot, but Lord Reginald was unwilling to throw 
a charge away. At length, turning round and seeing that 
the leading pirate was within range, he fired. He quickly 
took up the next musket, and as he did so, he called to 
Dick to come aft and reload them. By the time the 
third musket was fired, Dick had loaded the first. A 
dozen shots had been fired, though it was difficult to 
ascertain the effect produced. By this time theya«^/had 
opened out the west end of the island, when Dick, looking 
up, just as he was handing a musket to Lord Reginald, 
exclaimed — 

" A sail, a sail ! and a man-of-war, too, standing down 
towards us, under every stitch of canvas she can carry." 

** She'll be up to us in t^venty minutes more, and all we 

The " Wolf appears. 371 

need do is to keep ahead of our pursuers," answered 
Lord Reginald, taking a glance at her, before firing the 
musket he had received from Dick. That glance, however, 
was sufficient to convince him that she was the Wolf. 

He was again about to fire, when the pirate craft were 
seen in a state of confusion, putting about. As fast as 
they could, lowering their sails and getting out their oars, 
they pulled away for their lives in the wind's eye- They 
had an advantage by keeping closer in shore than the 
frigate could venture ; besides which, the wind was light, 
and thus gave them a better chance of escape. They 
had, however, been seen from the frigate, which stood on 
after them, and at first appeared as if about to pass the 
Janet. In a few minutes, however, the British ensign was 
seen flying from the lugger's mainyard ; at the same time 
it was perceived that the frigate would have little chance 
of overtaking the pirate proas. 

Lord Reginald stood up and waved his hat, while all 
hands shouted at the top of their voices. 

" They've made us out. She's about to heave to, sir. 

Hurrah ! hurrah ! " shouted Dick. 

The frigate, coming up with the wind, hove her main- 
top-sail aback. The lugger stood on for a short time, 
then hauUng her wind, ran up under the Wolfs lee. 

" What craft is that ? " asked a voice horn, the frigate's 

" The private yacht Janel^ bound from we don't know 
exactly where, for Batavia, or for any British man-of-war 
we can fall in with, especially the Wolf^ answered Lord 

" You've fallen in with the very frigate you*re in search 
of," answered Mr. Curling, the first heutenant, who had 

372 The Rival Crusoes. 

before spoken. " Come alongside, and let's hear more 
about you." 

" Thaf s more than we can do with these outriggers," 
said Lord Reginald. " Lower a boat, and we will step 
into her." 

This was speedily done, and Lord Reginald, in another 
minute, was ascending the sides of the frigate. 

Dick hesitated about going on board. The moment he 
had been dreading had arrived ; he must now be separated 

by an immeasurable distance from the man he had learned 

to love and respect. 

Lord Reginald received a warm welcome from Captain 

Moubray and his brother officers. Great, indeed, was 

their astonishment at seeing him. It was fully believed 

that either the Marie had been captured, or that she had 

been lost in the hurricane which came on soon after the 
convoy reached Batavia. 

" And now we must either drop your craft astern or 
hoist her up, for we must continue the chase of yonder 
piratical fleet," said the captain. 

" I doubt very much whether we shall be able to tow 
her without the risk of tearing out her bows," said Lord 
Reginald, " it will be safer to hoist her up, though to do 
so we must first unship her outriggers. Her builder is 
on board, and as soon as he has completed his task I 
should wish to introduce him to you, as he is a young 
man of talent to whom I am most deeply indebted." 

" I shall be happy to make his acquaintance," an- 
swered the captain, not dreaming of whom Lord Reginald 

The carpenter, with three or four hands, under Dick's 
superintendence, quickly unshipped the outriggers, and 

Dick introduced to the Captain. %*]2> 


all wondered, when they saw how narrow and frail she 
looked, that she should have come without accident so 
great a distance. 

As she touched the deck out jumped Neptune, leaping 
and barking with delight at seeing his old shipmates, who 
patted his head and stroked him as he rushed in and out 
among them. The boat being hoisted in, and the main- 
yard being braced round, the frigate was steered as close 
as the wind would allow in the direction taken by the 

pirate fleet. 

Dick, who had not as yet been recognized by any of 
his old shipmates, busied himself in stowing away the 
Janet's masts and sails, until Lord Reginald, coming along 
the deck, took him by the arm and led him aft to the 

" Now let me introduce my friend, Mr. Richard Har- 
grave. I can especially recommend him to you, sir, as a 
young man of sterling worth, possessed of talents of no 
ordinary kind, and he has twice saved my life." 

The captain, to Dick^s great surprise, shook him cor- 
dially by the hand. " I shall be happy. Lord Reginald, 
to do my best to serve him," he said, not recognizing 

Dick as one of his crew. 

" The greatest favour you can do me would be to place 
him on the quarter-deck, and I can answer for it that he 
will prove an ornament to the service,*' answered Lord 

Perhaps no one was more astonished than was Mr. 
Curling, who remembered Dick, though the others did 
not, and also the ill feeling shown towards him by Lord 
Reginald, but he kept his counsel, waiting to hear the 
captain^s reply. 

374 The Rival Crusoes. 

" He is rather old to enter the service, but as I am 
glad to do anything you wish, and to reward him for 
saving your life, I cannot refuse your request," answered 
the captain ; " and as we have several vacancies which I 
can fill up, I will appoint Mr. Hargrave as one of the 
midshipmen of this ship." 

Lord Reginald expressed his gratitude to the captain, 
and, shaking Dick by the hand, heartily congratulated him 
on his promotion. " I ought to have said, sir, that he 
has served on board this ship, and I think the officers 
who observed him will acknowledge that he always did 
his duty." 

" I can answer for that," said the first lieutenant " I 
am truly glad to find that I was not mistaken in the 
opinion I long ago formed of him." 

" Now, my dear Hargrave," said Lord Reginald, " 1 
must introduce you to the other midshipmen. They will all 
be eager to hear an account of our adventures on the 
island, and I am sure you need have no fear as to the 
way they will receive you." 

Before, however, Lord Reginald took him into the berth 
he got him rigged out in a uniform supplied by the purser, 
which, with other articles of clothing belonging to Voules, 
made up his outfit. 

The midslupmen received Dick in a friendly manner, 
no allusion being made to his former rating. He took 
the first opportunity of paying a visit to the cabin of Mr. 
Bitts the boatswain. 

" I thought I knew you when you came on board, but 
was not certain enough to go up and speak to you," said 
Mr. Bitts. "And now, Mr. Hargrave, pray understand that 
though I did use my rattan now and then pretty sharply, 

Dick a Midshipman, 375 

I did it for your goo^^ but as I had then a sincere wish 
to make a first-rate sailor ol you, so I shall consider it a 
favour, \i you ever want instruction in seamanship, if you'll 
come and ask me, and I shall be proud oi affording it. 
There's many a wrinkle I can give you which the quarter- 
deck officers might not think of. Some day, and I hope 
it will not be long hence, you'll be my superior in the 
service, and it will be my boast to be able to say, * I 
taught him; I knew he'd turn out an honour to the 

navy. ' " 

Dick thanked Mr. Bitts, and promised faithfully to take 
advantage of his offer. 

In the mean time, the frigate under all sail had been 
chasing the pirates. Though she went much faster 
through the water than they did, she had to make frequent 
tacks to keep them in sight. They were still a long way 
ahead of her when darkness came on, and in the morning 
no sign of them could be seen. 

After spending some time fruitlessly looking about for 
them, and after visiting several of the Dutch settlements 
lately taken possession of by England, the JVo// TCtumed 
to Batavia, where the Ja^ief was landed, and Dick, had 
he been so disposed, might have exliibited her as a 
curiosity in naval architecture. Here also Robson and 
Pierre went on shore, the former to obtain a berth as 
mate of an English merchantman, the latter to return at 
liberty to his native country on the first opportunity. 
From Batavia the Wb// sailed for Madras, then, after 
cruising for some time in the Indian seas, and capturing 
several prizes, she was at length ordered home. She had 
made during the time she was on the East Indian station 
a considerable amount of prize-money, and though a 


376 The Rival Crtisoes. 

midshipman's share is not very large compared to that of 
the captain, Dick's was not only sufficient to obtain a 
good outfit, but he had besides a well-filled purse in his 

" I want you to make me your banker," said Lord 
Reginald, as they were one day walking the deck together, 
and talking of home, " and that you may make such pre- 
sents to your father and mother and blind sister as you 
choose, you must draw on me for your future require- 
ments. I will ask my father to get you on board the 
next ship to which I am appointed, and I hope that by 
the time I am made a commander you will have become 
a lieutenant, and that we shall still serve together." 

Lord Reginald was somewhat surprised, though Dick 
thanked him heartily, when he declined the first part of 
his offer. 

" My wants are not likely to be great, and I hope that 
the cash I now have and such prize-money as we may 
gain in future, will be ample to supply them," he added. 

"Well, well," said Lord Reginald, fully appreciating 
Dick's feelings on the subject, "you are very unlike 
poor Voules, who did not scruple to borrow what he had 
no intention to repay ; but we will not talk of his faults, 
poor fellow 1 I understand him now better than I did, 
but I have more reason to blame myself for having been 
toadied by such a man, than to find fault with him for 

paying court to me." 

The Wolf reached Portsmouth after a somewhat long 
voyage, and going into harbour, was at once paid off. 

Lord Reginald invited Dick to accompany him to 
Eiverston. " Don't say who you are, and they'll suppose 
that I have got another Voules in tow," he said, laughing. 

Arrival at Home, ^jy 

Dick thought it would appear ungrateful not to accept 

the invitation. 

Lord Reginald was received as one from the dead, 
as the news of his disappearance had reached home, 
and nothing had been heard of him since. After his 
mother and sisters had somewhat recovered from the 
agitation into which they had been thrown by his re- 
appearance, and he had received the congratulations of 
his father and his elder brothers, Viscount Elverston and 
I-ord John, he took Dick by thQ arm and introduced him 
as his friend and late shipmate, without mentioning his 
name. The whole party then entered the drawing-room. 
There were several persons, including three young ladies, 
engaged in various feminine occupations. One of them, 
a bright-eyed blooming girl, Dick thought resembled 

greatly in features his sister Janet. He was describing 
to Lady Julia, who, now married, was staying with her 
husband in the house, their adventures on the island, 
when, turning round, he saw the last-mentioned young 
lady trembling violently, and gazing earnestly at him. 

" Oh, my brother, my dear brother ! " she exclaimed, 
suddenly rising and throwing herself into his arms, quite 
forgetting the company present " Have you really come 
back? I know you, Dick, though I never saw your 
face before. I know you by your voice and your likeness 
to our father." 

Dick, giving vent to his feelings in a way midshipmen 
are not wont to do, pressed her to his heart. 

" You are quite right, Miss Hargrave, it is your brother 
Richard, and my dearest and best friend," said Lord 
Reginald, coming forward. 

Matters were soon explained, and Dick received the 

37S The Rival Crusoe s. 

heartfelt thanks of the marquis and Lady Elverston 
as the preserver of their son, and compHments innumer- 
able flowed ip upon him from all the company present. 

As soon as he could he seated himself near Janet, 
who told him of the welfare of their father and mother, 
and how she had been restored to sight by the removal 
of the cataract from her eyes by a skilful oculist to 
whom Lady Elverston had taken her. 

Dick and Janet set off the next day for their father*s 
farm. Dick's stay on shore, however, consisted but of a 
few weeks, some of which were spent at Elverston in 
company with Lord Reginald. He paid poor Susan 
Rudall and her children a visit, when he performed the 
painful duty of giving them an account of Ben's death. 
Lord Reginald, however, cheered her up somewhat, by 
assuring her that she should not come to want, a promise 
which he faithfully fulfilled, the marquis making her an 
allowance, while Lady Elverston obtained employment 
for her in the neighbourhood. 

At length. Lord Reginald and Dick joined a fine frigate, 
to which the former had been appointed as second 

The marquis as speedily as possible obtained Dick's 
promotion. Both he and Lord Reginald rose to the top 
of their profession, and few more gallant officers have 
served their country than Admirals Lord Reginald Oswald 
and Richard liargrave.